Since the weekend, my legs have been screaming at me. I’m not sure if it was the bike ride, my Personal Training session or a combination of both, but I’ve been suffering with extremely stiff and sore hamstrings and glutes.
I’ve been trying to ease the muscle soreness in the following ways:
Taking a few days away from training allows your body to repair muscle damage and recover fully. I skipped my training sessions earlier this week in favour of gentle stretching, rest and relaxation. It’s said that larger muscles groups such as the legs and back need to be given three days of rest before training again, whilst smaller areas such as the core need two days to recover.
Whilst it’s not the most comfortable experience, sports massage really helps to relieve muscle tension and flush out toxins which cause soreness. I’m booked in with Matt at Romford Sports Massage tomorrow for a much-needed treatment! Foam-rolling is another (painful) method to release tension and muscle knots- I don’t enjoy it but it certainly helps!
Applying heat to the sore area helps to increase blood flow and stimulate healing of damaged tissues. These Nurofen Express heat patches stick to the skin and start to warm up in 5 minutes to provide 8 hours of comforting heat. They are inexpensive, discreet and can be worn under clothing or in bed. I use them on my shoulders and neck after a long bike ride to ease off any tension.
Hydration and Nutrition
Antioxidant rich foods help to reduce inflammation and reduce soreness- tart cherry juice is particularly known for it’s ability to reduce muscle pain. Berries including raspberries, blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants called polyphenols which help to reduce pain in the body- they’re a staple in my diet for good reason! Other foods to boost recovery are ginger, turmeric, nuts and leafy greens. It goes without saying, but hydration is also key for recovery and muscle repair, so I’ve made sure to drink extra water this week.
This is one I haven’t tried yet! Ice baths are a popular way to recover post exercise-submerging the legs in ice cold water is said to constrict blood vessels and suppress inflammation. I must try a chilly dip after my next big training session, but for now I’m sticking with the heat patches!
Nerofen Heat Patches were provided for review, but all opinions are my own.
What methods do you use to ease muscle soreness?