Dealing with the Dreaded DOMS: 5 Ways To Reduce Muscle Soreness
Soreness might not be an indicator of muscle growth And the jury is out on the real reasons behind DOMS. But one thing is certain. Being sore is not nice!
A little soreness is fine. But chronic soreness that keeps you from training as often as you’d like is another thing.
Below are 5 easy, practical home remedies to help with the nagging soreness. They’ll also help with blood circulation, performance, and overall relaxation. The trick is to make these a part of your regular routine. You can do them daily or just a few times per week, but consider them long-term practices.
1. Light Resistance Training
I know it may seem counterintuitive, but some light resistance activity will help in so many ways. In the days following a hard training session, waste material pools into the muscle along with damage to the fibers, all while repair and growth are trying to happen. Some light exercise will help blood pump out some of the waste so the good stuff can get in there and do its job.
This isn’t a full-on workout per se, it’s simply light activity to flush out the bad and make room for the good. It will also help your body coax into recovering faster and more completely while stimulating your metabolism.
It would be great to afford a personal massage therapist each week. Kneading-out knots, kinks, and tight areas on a regular basis will do wonders for recovery. Unfortunately, most of us can’t shell-out that kind of dough. But you can’t discount the benefits of massage. In addition to the above benefits it also increases blood flow, accelerates recovery, and relieves potential chronic soreness.
A hot, soothing bath is relaxing, but it serves many other purposes as well. As for soreness, baths can be of great help aiding in better blood circulation, relaxation of stressed muscles, and with the addition of Epsom salt or a similar product, can reduce swelling due to fluid retention. A tub or spa with jets is also a great aid in loosening tight areas and reducing soreness.
4. Light Stretching
Light stretching is the perfect partner for light resistance training. Perform light exercise first in order to flush blood into the major muscle groups and warm them for protection once you get to the stretching portion of the session.
This warm-up/stretching practice will not only increase rate of recovery and combat soreness, but also help improve flexibility around your joints and help you avoid injury in future training sessions.
5. Fluid Intake
This is arguably the most overlooked aspect of recovery and soreness. Staying hydrated is normally seen as a benefit for those wanting better performance. You hear that even a slightly dehydrated state can impair strength levels and rates of recovery between sets.
However, staying hydrated is just as important for post-training recovery and soreness. Since blood flow is key in cleaning out waste products from muscle cells so they can more effectively recover and grow, water intake directly affects this. The more water consumed, the easier time the body has to perform these processes.