That feeling when every inch of your body screams in pain after an intense workout the day before means that you are suffering from DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness. For sure you’ve dealt with this kind of pain especially on those days when you feel like you can do that HIIT program you’ve always wanted. Yes, you’ll be feeling good about yoursel afterwards but wait 24 hours and you will feel the aches and pains for sure. The good news is that you will be able to prevent and treat DOMS easily.
You just need to follow these tips.
- Give yourself a break. If you are suffering from muscle pains and aches, it is never a good idea to push yourself the following day or even the next day as your muscles are still reeling from the intense workout that you have done. If your muscles aren’t groaning too much, you can do some light exercises like walking or swimming. You can lift weights if you like but choose the lighter weights though and reduce the number of reps.
- Drink coffee before you workout. Coffee acts as a stimulant to your muscles which, in turn, can make them become stronger so that you will be able to perform more efficiently than before. Drinking coffee will also boost your endurance levels which means that you can perform more reps too. It also helps reduce muscle soreness afterwards which is a plus especially when you’re performing a high intensity workout.
- Keep yourself limber. Gentle stretches is always a good idea when you’re trying to prevent delayed onset of muscle soreness. Yoga and Pilates are good options but make sure that your stretches won’t aggravate the pain further. You can also go for light foam rolling or have someone massage you after to help encourage more blood flowing into your muscles to reduce the pain.
- Stay hydrated. Another important tip to keep DOMS at bay is to make sure that you are well hydrated when you workout. You should drink water in between sets to keep your electrolytes level up and to avoid making your muscles too tired afterwards. It also protects you against dehydration especially when you’re sweating buckets.
- Don’t forget your post-workout snack or meal. You need to make sure that you have a post-workout snack on hand or a meal waiting for you when you get home to help replenish the lost energy in your body and also to repair your damaged muscles. Make sure that you eat a snack that contains carbs and protein to address your muscle fatigue and reduced energy levels.
- Get checked. If the muscle soreness is still present even after several days have already passed by, you need to go and get yourself checked. It is possible that you may have pushed yourself too much resulting to torn tendons or muscle tissue. Having a professional take a look at you will give you a much better idea on what to do to lessen the pain or discomfort that you are feeling.