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How to reduce muscle soreness

Health By Bob Otieno
Photo: Courtesy

Regular hard exercises or high intensity exercise programmes can cause muscle damage. However, you can reduce incidences of sore muscles, pain and injuries by including the following few tips in your training routine:

Always start with low intensity warm-up: Getting into any high intense exercise without warming up effectively can actually put your working muscles under duress and make you prone to injury. This is because the muscles are still cold and oxygen supply is not as effective compared to muscles warmed up properly.

Warming up actually increases your heart and breathing rates therefore increasing oxygen and nutrient supply to your muscles for necessary heavy or hard exertion. It also allows your joint to release (synovial fluid) a fluid necessary to reduce frictions on joint making them less tense and stiff.

Include stretches: Slight static stretches before exercise are great for keeping the body alert and unstiffen the muscles. It allows effective flow of oxygenated blood to your muscles and rest of the body which therefore makes it easier for you to work out without feeling conditions related to pressure such as muscle pulls or fatigue.

After workout, stretching or cooling down your worked muscles brings them back to normal. Make sure you have a full body stretch after workout for about 10 minutes, stretching all the major and minor muscles to avoid feeling sore later.

Adopt healthy exercise habits: You don’t have to be so obsessed with exercise to achieve your goals. You don’t have to exercise every now and then, day in day out for you to see the changes you want. Too much of anything is just as bad. Adopt a good training habit that allows you to have rest days in-between your workout for your body to rest, recover and heal.

It is during this rest period that your body grows stronger. Schedule to exercise at least three to four times a week with the other days set aside to relax. Alternatively, you can also include other activities like dancing and swimming beside your normal gym or field session to break the cycle of a continuous routine that can load, exhaust or even damage your muscles, joints and body.

Go get a Massage: Massage has the power to lower levels of muscles soreness by stimulating white blood cells that fight inflammation (Neutrophils). It relaxes the muscles, relieving tension and pressure while speeding up the recovery process. It also aids in structural alignment by relaxing over worked muscles, which can pull bones out of alignment.

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