I’m mad. My stomach hurts. Especially when I laugh. And this makes me mad because my workout wasn’t even that hard. I shouldn’t be this sore.
I ask our nutritionist Frida if there’s any way to prevent or just get rid of muscle soreness, aside from taking pain meds (which is supposedly a big no-no).
As it turns out, you can’t really prevent muscle soreness, and it’s a myth that stretching right after a workout will prevent soreness. The good news is that there are things you can do to minimise pain after a workout. The first thing Frida says is that the more your body gets used to a workout, the less it hurts in the days that follow. In other words, if it hurts, keep doing it and eventually it will hurt less as your muscles get used to it. That’s not much of a solution, obviously, so here are the others Frida suggested.
Have an active rest day. This is where you choose a low-tempo/low-intensity exercise – Frida recommends walking, cycling, swimming or yoga – instead of what you’d usually do. This helps you to get your circulation going and helps remove the lactic acid built up in the muscles so that the muscle fibers can start to heal. You don’t have to stick to the exercises Frida suggested, but she says that they shouldn’t exert your muscles too much and that your pulse shouldn’t increase by more than 50-65%.
If you’re someone who usually exercises at a pretty low intensity, but for longer periods of time – i.e. cycling 4 hours a day or something similar – then it’s better to avoid all forms of exercise and just rest.
You can also try using foam rollers. These sticks of foam can be rolled under your body, e.g. your thighs or the underside of your arms to release tension in the muscles and help you relax.
My all round favorite of all of Frida’s suggestions is definitely this last one: warm up the body with a visit to the sauna – it will help you relax.
Time to find a sauna.
P.S. My next scheduled ‘workout’ is indoor climbing. I’ll let you know how it goes.
P.P.S. I didn’t take a picture of myself for this post – so here’s a random one of me squinting on the top of a mountain:
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