You finally made it to gym or to that total body conditioning class you’ve been talking about for months.
You’re so proud of yourself! But that smile doesn’t last.
You worked your butt off (literally) and now it feels like you are paying for it!
Does this sound familiar? It sounds a lot like my life.
Have you experienced annoying aches and pains after ambitious workouts?
Or have you noticed that you feel some discomfort the first few days or even weeks into your fitness routine?
Most of us have heard the saying “No pain, no gain”, and often simply accept exercise-related pain as a necessary cross to bear.
“Just grin and bear it!” some may say. But, that is not always the best advice.
Investigate the Pain
If you ever feel pain after a workout, something is probably wrong.
When an exercise movement causes pain, the first thing to do is to stop what you are doing.
Then, start by investigating the pain.
It could be a cramp, strain or sprain.
Aches can also be due to muscle soreness.
If you wake up the next day and feel sore in the muscles that were used in your previous workout, your body may be responding to being used in a new way. (I know all about that!)
But, even so you don’t have to suffer through these aches without at least trying to get some relief.
(As a general precaution, always use common sense and plain old good intuition when a part of your body hurts. If the pain is unbearable or seems to be the result of a serious injury, consult a health or medical professional.)
Try to Relieve the Aches Naturally
It is not uncommon to feel aches after exercise. But if you would prefer not to pop a pill every time you ache, here are a few methods you can try to relieve these pains naturally.
Let’s start by discussing the R.I.C.E. method which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
If you feel discomfort or pain in your muscles or joints during, or when performing activities, after your workout, give your body a rest.
The problem could be that you are just new to the routines, but also overuse of a muscle can lead to weakness.
If you are weight training, leave at least 48 hours between each muscle group to allow for muscle repair.
Poor form can also be a cause of strain.
Using ice packs on an area of soreness or injury can provide short-term relief from pain.
Try a fifteen-minute treatment. Then move your limb around and see how you feel.
Compression also alleviates some pain and can reduce the swelling that is putting pressure on vital tissues in the area.
For a sprain or strain, try using a compression bandage like an ACE to keep fluid from accumulating in the area from inflammation.
Keep the bandage snug but not too tight to avoid cutting off the blood supply to the area.
Another way to reduce or eliminate swelling is to elevate the hurt area.
If it is a limb, use pillows or a stool.
Try to raise the injury or ache above the level of the heart for best results.
Besides the R.I.C.E. method, there are other natural ways to help relieve aches and pains.
5. Soak in a Warm Bath
The warm water can help with swelling and also take pressure off of the area, with the buoyancy.
Some find that adding bath salts such as Epsom salt to hot bath water can help relax tense, sore muscles.
Your can add a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus or juniper essential oil to the bath as well for greater relaxation.
6. Have a Massage
Loosening the muscles can stretch out any kinks that are causing pain.
It may take a deep tissue massage to relieve the kinks, which can sometimes be slightly uncomfortable at first.
A soothing hot stone massage may may bring welcome relief your aching shoulders and back.
Gentle stretching can keep muscles supple when exercising.
A good warm-up stretch can help you avoid some injuries.
Try to incorporate a proper warm up and a cool down into every exercise session.
What works for you? What have you done to successfully alleviate exercise-related pain, naturally? Share your suggestions and comments with us below.