It’s normal to be a little sore after a good workout. After all, your muscles become stronger through a process of breaking down and rebuilding. However, sometimes the soreness might ebb into more extreme territory and have you feeling like it’s hard to get up and move around at all. This isn’t unheard of, even for people who make an effort to stay fit, since it can be easy to push your body too far and cause more damage than you realize in your muscles, which will lead to delayed-onset muscle soreness. Aside from recognizing your limits and toning down your exercise routine in the future, what can you do to ease intense soreness and keep your workout routine moving forward?
Get some light, low-impact activity
When your legs feel like jelly or you just can’t lift your arms without an intense and sharp sore feeling, you may be tempted to just lie in bed or stay couch-bound all day. However, light movement can make you feel better faster. Even just a moderate walk or a swim can be helpful, since it boosts circulation and accelerates your body’s healing process. If the soreness is isolated, you can also just mix up your workout to focus on other body parts—for example, focus on your arms and chest if your thighs are super sore.
Drink extra water
Another step you can take to improve your circulation and kickstart your healing is stay hydrated. Slight dehydration can make soreness much worse, and drinking more water is almost never a bad idea to help sore muscles.
Heat or ice sore spots
Stay away from anti-inflammatory drugs to ease pain but consider the benefits of using hot and cold treatments for pain relief. Icing sore muscles or using a warm compress can take the edge off the pain and help stimulate healing.
Eat some extra protein
Protein is what your muscles use to rebuild, so don’t skimp on it after your most intense workouts. That goes for immediately after your workout, as well as when any delayed soreness sets in.
If you regularly experience intense muscle soreness or you aren’t sure how to get back into an exercise routine safely, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult a physician. You can easily speak with a licensed medical professional using MeMD to connect to a provider remotely for a convenient, affordable online video visit.