Working out is going to and should cause some discomfort. Strive to push yourself to the next level. But, there’s a point at which that next level comes at a price. You can easily overwork your body, causing it way more harm than good. If you are starting to feel intense pain or exhaustion, try these tricks to ease the burn:
1. Magnesium – The Natural De-Stressor: After a long day at the office, taking care of my daughter, doing household chores, preparing meals and getting in my workouts, I’m so worn out. Taking a hot bath in Epsom salt can be very beneficial and extremely relaxing. It releases stress and tension in sore muscles. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, which helps with easing the pain from strenuous workouts. The magnesium is easily absorbed though your skin as you pamper yourself, soaking in the nice hot tub. According to epsomsaltcouncil.org, increased magnesium levels can increase circulation, help with muscle pain from workouts or injuries, decrease the amount of toxins in cells and reduce stress levels. Magnesium is key in helping your body produce energy and we could all use more energy throughout the day. It can also regulate body temperature and help you get more rest while soothing your muscles and boosting energy levels. According to epsomsaltcouncil.org, the amount we consume in our diets has dropped by about 60 percent compared to a century ago, most likely due to the decreased amount readily available in the soil. Magnesium has an effect on approximately 300 enzyme systems in the body, which sounds awfully important to me. You can also naturally increase your magnesium levels by consuming more dark greens, nuts and seeds or taking a magnesium supplement.
2. Light Cardio: Performing light cardio the day after an intense workout can help relieve sore muscles. This is called active recovery. It is also beneficial immediately following your workouts. This increases blood flow and helps speed up recovery of muscles.
3. Massage: Using a foam roller to massage out sore muscles can decrease the length of recovery time. I normally use a roller immediately after my training sessions or HIT cardio workouts. This helps to stretch out the muscles and relieve tightness in the muscle group that I trained that day. Most importantly, the foam rollers are very inexpensive to buy! If I have the time, I generally try to get a massage every couple of weeks as well. (photo credit here)
4. Cool off: Ice can work fast on sore muscles and temporarily relieve pain. It also decreases swelling in joint areas. Many athletes use ice within the first three days of injury or training. I only use ice if I’m exceptionally sore or if I feel that I injured or pulled a muscle. I typically apply an ice pack to the muscle group for 15 minutes at a time. If soreness lasts for more than a few days I would recommend seeing a doctor.
5. Rest: Nothing is better for sore muscles than rest and time. I personally have a hard time with this. I do not rest enough nor do I get enough sleep, but I am focusing on changing this. Letting your muscles recover properly is most important. You never want to push harder than you feel is reasonable for your body. If you over work a muscle group you will stay sore and decrease results. Each body part may take a different amount of time to recover depending on quite a few factors. Working each muscle group once a week is typically sufficient, unless your trainer has you on a specific plan designed for your body. Making sure you get enough sleep is just as important. Growth hormone is released while sleeping and the main goal for working out is sculpting a sexy, womanly body. Sleep is essential in this process and not everyone is the same. Some women can run on 6 hrs of sleep while others need 8-10 hrs of sleep. I am on the higher end of this and need 8-10 hrs, but only get 6 hrs on an average night. I know it can be difficult, especially if you have little ones who do not sleep well, but make sure you are getting your “beauty” rest!