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Getting Rid of Muscle Soreness after a Run

Muscle Soreness is a sensation of acute pain in the muscle due to inflammation and temporary breakdown of the muscle, especially after eccentric exercise. If you notice pain after physical activity, don’t worry, it is inevitable. However, there are several techniques and foods to help prevent muscle soreness.

Pain in the muscles that do not allow you to walk or move your arms the day after going to the gym, going for a run, or doing an exercise bike is very common.

It can occur when a person who leads a very sedentary lifestyle and suddenly begins to do more physical activity, or when he goes from a training rhythm to a more demanding one.

The idea that the accumulation of lactic acid caused muscle pain was discarded. Therefore, soreness is caused by micro-injuries (some call them “micro-tears”) in the exercised muscle.

Strategies to getting rid of muscle soreness after a run

Fortunately, several strategies help alleviate sore muscles after exercise. Many of them come to be very simple pre-care, as you can see below.

1.   Eat well and drink enough water

Muscles are sore and therefore need a good dose of protein, ‘good’ fats, and carbohydrates. You also need to drink enough water before, during, and after the routine. It is vital since this makes it more difficult for muscle cramps to appear.

2.   Apply an ice pack

Ice packs can help relieve discomfort. However, to not burn the skin, it is advisable to wrap them in a clean, fine, and dry cloth or gauze.

If you do not have a gel compress, you can improvise one with a few ice cubes wrapped in a cloth (so as not to burn the skin) and applied to the area of pain to help reduce inflammation.

Keep it on the area for a while and wait a while to repeat the procedure if you consider that you still have discomfort. All of this will help you relieve sore muscles. You can also resort to the interleaved application of cold-heat.

3.   Practice “active recovery”

This means that you have to keep exercising or moving even if your muscles hurt, but not with the same intensity that caused the problem.

For example, if running hurts, try walking or jogging; if you use a barbell with a high weight, try simple push-ups; cardio exercises are perfect, as well as yoga or Tai Chi. All of this serves to eliminate pain and stiffness by stimulating blood flow.

4.   Rest

After active recovery, but also taking into account the weekly repetitions of the exercise. At first, the maximum is three times a week, 60 to 90 minutes each day.

5.   Massage the sore area

If your legs or stomach hurt a lot, for example, go for massages to relax the tension. If you like, you can also go to a “traditional” massage center or even do it yourself or ask your partner or a relative to please do it for you.

Another option for massages is to buy specific utensils for it. There are excellent portable electric massagers, foam rollers, or heating pads. A session of this type of massage should not be longer than 20 minutes.

6.   Apply heat to the worked muscle soreness area

As a complement to the previous point, the application of heat can contribute to the relief of muscle aches caused by exercise and also by bad posture. This is because the body “carries” more blood to that area. In addition to the pad, you can take a very hot shower, go to a sauna or take a soaking bath with hot water and salts.

The ideal would be to intersperse the application of cold and heat to obtain better results.

What else can I do to help prevent muscle soreness?

In addition to putting the aforementioned into practice, you can resort to the following tricks to help prevent soreness and relief pain.

Note: remember that if the discomfort intensifies and lengthens over time, it is best to go to your doctor and, later, to the physiotherapist.

1.   Alternate hot and cold

Many athletes apply ice and heat alternately to recover faster. The former serves to reduce inflammation and the latter to increase blood flow to sore muscles.

Available options include turning the hot water on and off in the shower or using an ice pack first, drying, and padding. You can repeat this as many times, but always starting with the cold.

2.   Take a bath with Epsom salts

Although it is not scientifically proven that this provides benefits, it is said that taking a bath for 20 minutes maximum with 300 grams of Epsom salts could help relax sore muscles and decrease inflammation.

Magnesium sulfate would help prevent abdominal bloating. If you don’t want to take a bath, you can soak a cloth in hot water, add a few grains of this salt, and then apply it to the painful area.

Some food remedies

  1. Ginger infusion

Since ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, it is said that consuming a drink (hot or cold) containing this food could contribute to relief. One of the simplest ways to benefit would be to take some fresh ginger and prepare an infusion with it.

  1. Do an excellent job of stretching back

Stretch your muscles well after exercise. This helps relieve muscle pain. Stretch well, just like you do at the beginning of the routine. But not until it hurts, just until the moment you feel the tension. Otherwise, you will feel more pain later.

Truths about Muscle Pain

  • This pain appears after carrying out new routines or more demanding exercises.
  • The pain in the muscles occurs after a long period of inactivity or to maintain a sedentary life.
  • You don’t need to take anti-inflammatory drugs to make the pain go away.

These strategies to avoid muscle pain are varied and, therefore, may help some people and others not depending on the type of exercise performed. So it is recommended to try several until you find the right one. Likewise, it is advisable to visit the doctor when the pain from the shoelaces lasts longer than usual and thus rule out a possible muscle injury.

You may be able to find more useful tips about how to prevent Muscle Soreness by visiting the NHS website.

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