Five Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness

1.       Keep moving – One of the best things you can do if you are feeling particularly sore after a workout is to keep moving. I am not necessarily talking about maxing out on your squat or running a half marathon the next day. I mean simply go for a walk, or perhaps some light stretching or mobility work. One of the worst things you can do is rest on the couch when your muscles are sore.

2.       Foam Rolling – According to a study published in 2015, doing up to twenty minutes of foam rolling was found to be effective in reducing delayed–onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Simply put, foam rolling helps break down adhesions in your muscles, which allows the tissue to heal much like a massage would. If you don’t have the time or money to get to a massage therapist, foam rolling or other forms of self-myofascial release techniques are a great alternative.

3.       Watch what you eat – Eating a little protein before and after your workout can help your body to repair your achy muscles. Foods high in potassium such as bananas, melons, and raisins are also helpful with reducing the likelihood of cramping.

4.       Using cold and heat. – “Alternating cold and heat may be the most beneficial following exercise-induces muscle soreness. Applying ice for twenty minutes followed by heat for twenty minutes can be an effective regimen to help address muscle soreness following activity.” (Christopher Hosgrege, orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern Medicine, Chicago.)

5.       Getting a massage - Schedule your massage directly following your workout. Studies have shown immediate massage is more effective for promoting tissue regeneration. Not only can massage reduce pain from a workout, but regular body work can prevent the chances of you being sore in the future.