Soothe your muscles and reduce post-workout pain
After an intense cardio workout or weight-training session, you might feel extreme exhaustion, muscle soreness, and nausea. This hit-by-a-truck feeling that you often wake up with the day after working out is called DOMS, which stands for delayed onset muscle soreness. Luckily, there are many preventative measures you can take to avoid it. Here's a quick list of 10 steps you should always take before, during, and after going to the gym.
- Drink a cup or two of caffeinated tea or coffee before working out to increase muscular strength and endurance and reduce the chance of soreness.
- Eat a pre-workout snack that is low-fat and high-carb with some protein.
- Warm up properly with a little cardio and dynamic stretching to prep your muscles and joints for your workout.
- Do not stop and start moving while exercising; instead, keep steadily moving so fresh blood will be sent to repair your taxed muscles.
- While you are working out, stay hydrated by drinking water every 15 minutes.
- If you are sweating a lot, it's important to replace lost electrolytes with a sports drink or other electrolyte-rich foods, because these essential salts regulate heartbeats, muscular contractions, and nerve function.
- After your workout, stretch and use a foam roller to massage out knots and increase blood flow to your muscles.
- Immediately after working out, eat a post-workout snack that has a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein to help restore the nutrients lost in the muscles during the workout. Try chocolate milk or a protein snack washed down with tart cherry juice, which has also been shown to reduce soreness.
- Consider getting a sports massage to increase circulation and break up major knots in problem areas that are always sore.
- Take a cold shower post-workout to reduce inflammation of the muscles. Or try an ice bath, which has been shown to reduce muscle soreness by 20 percent.
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