You’re working hard toward your weight loss goals, and sticking with your daily exercise routine. But soreness is one common, annoying side effect of all that exercise. Slight to moderate soreness is normal, and even a sign that you’re making progress. But because the pain can be bothersome (or even tempt you to skip your next workout), it’s important to take care of yourself when soreness occurs.
Keep moving. All you want to do is curl up in bed, but that’s actually not a smart strategy for dealing with sore muscles. Keep moving, but choose a lighter activity such as walking or tai chi. You want to maintain blood flow to those muscles as they heal and rebuild themselves.
Stretch. The more flexible your muscles are, the less stiff they will feel. You should always stretch after every workout anyway, but even that won’t always prevent sore muscles. Beginning your day with yoga or another stretching routine can help to ease soreness and make you more comfortable throughout the rest of the day.
Soak in warm water. Warmth helps muscles to relax, and loosens up stiff joints. Toss some magnesium-rich Epsom salts in a warm bathtub, and soak for at least fifteen minutes.
Get a massage. A trained massage therapist can find the source of the tension causing your sore muscles, and rub it right out. Be sure to communicate your needs to your massage therapist ahead of time, and speak up during the massage if anything hurts.
Foam rolling. You might have seen other people at your gym, massaging themselves with foam rollers. It looks a bit silly, but it can replenish blood flow after a difficult workout, and prevent knots in your muscles. Ask a personal trainer to show you how to correctly use foam rollers, and you can reduce soreness and also prevent injuries.
As always, call us for an appointment before you begin an exercise or weight loss program. A weight loss physician can check you for underlying conditions that could complicate your progress, and help you decide upon a plan for success.