The fast-paced life and a whole lot of stress are driving people towards physical exercises to stay healthy and leave tension and stress at bay. However, for those who are just starting out on their journey to better their physical health, the issue of muscle soreness becomes a major problem in the beginning. Suddenly twisting and turning your body in various yoga poses will indeed lead to soreness or more accurately, DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It is painful no doubt, and makes it hard for you to move or stretch those muscles even while doing simple chores at home, isn’t it?
For chronic forms of pain and irritation, a range of options exists, ranging from a visit to a Chiropractor to a consultation with a physiotherapist. But where do you turn when faced with the short-term, but often intense pain of DOMS?
Here are some suggestions.
Stretching Holds the Key
You felt really great after a long session of yoga or workout, all confident with bouncy steps but suddenly the day after, your entire body feels sore. You are unable to move freely and now you are contemplating whether you overdid yesterday. That’s normal but, sitting at home doing nothing will not relieve any of the pain. Instead, the first thing you should do is start stretching those sore muscles slowly. Sudden physical activity or a new fitness regime can cause muscle tear as a result of which, they remain contracted and doesn’t relax. So, it’s always beneficial when you do some stretching exercises to get some relief from the discomfort. Also, make it a point to stretch prior to your workout sessions and even after you complete them.
Indulge in Massage Therapy
If the discomfort and pain are holding you back from doing your normal day to day to activities then, go for a massage. Sounds relaxing already? The masseurs are experts in their field and are knowledgeable about the right techniques to relieve the stiffness and pain. That is also one of the reasons why people opt for a Yoga retreat in Thailand or Bali or Nepal or someplace else. The massage therapies after a tiring session of yoga ensure that the muscles do not stay cramped and get the necessary flow of blood. This way the muscles remain rejuvenated and you can continue with your yoga classes.
Don’t Exert Instead Adopt Light Exercises
It is better to avoid heavy lifting and cardio exercises if you have a sore muscle. Those who have muscle soreness after a yoga session must be thinking what about us? Well, since yoga is more about stretching and contorting your body, you can continue with it the day after as well. Yoga along with warm-up exercises is also recommended to those who have muscle soreness because of intense workout activities. If you have been part of a Yoga teacher training in Thailand or any other place, you know that the soreness goes away to a considerable extent with the next day’s yoga session. So, stay away from heavy workout sessions and do yoga or similar light exercises to stretch those sore muscles to make them heal quickly.
Soak in Warm Water
This is one of the best ways to get rid of sore muscles. The warm water acts like a stimulant which releases the muscle tension and reduces the pain. You can also put in some salt or some Ayurvedic herbs or essential oils in the water to further aid the process of healing.
Use Hot Water Bags
If you are unable to get a warm water bath then, use a hot water bag or heat pad to apply to the areas where you feel the pain and stiffness. It acts in the same way as warm water soothing the muscles as well as reducing inflammations, if there are any. Another good idea is to alternately use ice packs and hot water bag which can reduce the soreness considerably.
Proper Hydration is Necessary
Staying properly hydrated is one of the keys to lessening the effects muscle soreness. It is important for you to hydrate your body before you start your yoga or workout sessions. This will not only help to maintain a steady internal temperature but also, homeostasis. Apart from that, when you indulge in physical exercise, the body creates waste products which can only be flushed out through sweat or urine. So, always carry your bottle and drink plenty of fluids even after the workout sessions.
Focus on Your Diet
Without food the body is nothing. It is more important to heal the body from within rather than take help of external sources. Therefore, when you are in pain because of muscle soreness, include more foods in your diet that aid in muscular growth and function. Potassium-rich foods like tomatoes, bananas, avocados, legumes, etc. are great when it comes to reducing muscle spasms.
It’s no doubt good to engage yourself in physical activities like yoga, gym workout, etc. but equally important is rest. Without proper rest, the muscles in the body will not heal and there would be no benefit of working out. So, always invest a good amount of time to rest and feel better and stronger.
And most importantly, don’t stop moving! You’ll only be this sore once, then our amazing bodies adjust.