If it’s been a while since you exercised, you are probably feeling a bit on the sore side. Remember, this past week I asked many of you new folks to air on the side of caution and take it a little easier than maybe you thought you needed to.

I did the work out with Sean yesterday and my biceps and triceps are still talking to me!

So what can you do help alleviate some of this pain? Below are a few helpful hints that you may even want to start tonight!

EXERCISE

Believe it or not, but exercising is a very GOOD idea! If you are feeling sore all over, one of the best things you can do is get your body moving with some nice cardio. I know you think I’m crazy, but here me out. With a little light exercise, you’ll get oxygenated and nutrient rich blood pumping into your muscles that will help speed up recovery and decrease the soreness. If you don’t do anything, your nutrient rich blood doesn’t have a huge need to go into your muscles…but as soon as you start using those muscles, the blood flow will help speed up your recovery.

TAKE A BATH

An Epson Salt Bath will work WONDERS on your body

Look…I know we have men in our class, so I’m not going to get all girly on you and tell you to light a candle and break out the bubble bath. But…if you do take an EPSON SALT BATH it can literally help ease and release tension through those tired muscles.

Epson salt has Magnesium in it, which has a healing effect on sore muscles. It’s also great for sprains, bruises, taking the sting out of insect bites, and drawing out splinters.

So pop your favorite soft jazz in the ipod, light a candle, and go soak those aching muscles!

FOAM ROLL

Another name for foam rolling is self-myofacial release…which is just the technical word for self massage. Instead of paying a masseuse a 100bucks (save it for bootcamp!), you can get your foam roller out and roll those aching muscles. Foam rolling also helps to get blood flow into your muscles in order to facilitate healing. The best thing I can do here is to actually show you some foam rolling techniques.


SHIN SPLINTS AND CALF PAIN:

You’ve gotta check out this video to learn how to specifically target your calf muscles.  This can make the difference between dealing with shin and lower leg pain, and not having any pain at all.  I highly recommend that you roll your shins and calves EVERYDAY if you are feeling tenderness.  You also need to make sure that you are STRETCHING this area every day.  You can stretch your calves almost anywhere.  Find a stair and drop your heel down.  The video below deals specifically with foam rolling the lower legs.  I recommend digging right in.

ICE!

I’m guessing not many of you are going to take me up on this one, but I have never found any other modality to work as well as icing.  If your knees or ankles (or any other joint in your body) are causing you a little grief, then wrapping it up on ice is the most effective way to kill the inflammation.  If you have Achilles tendinitis (the bottoms of your feet and heel hurt like hell), freeze a small water botttle, put it on the ground, and roll the bottom of your foot over it for 5-10 minutes.

But if you really want to kill all aches and pains before they even have the chance to start, then take an ice bath.  Yes, you might think that sounds crazy, but how do you think athletes are able to get out there and push past their peak day in and day out?  They have a whole recovery process, and it often times includes an ice bath.

Here’s no surprise to everyone who knows me.  I’m not a runner.  Sure, I’ll do a mile or two on the trails, but as soon as the mileage goes above 3 or 4, my ankles, knees, and hips ache.  A few years ago I decided to drop the “belief system” that I don’t run, so I signed up for a 1/2 marathon and started training.  The amazing thing was I never had joint pain during the entire process for one big reason:  Ice Baths.

After every run, I would take 2 bags of ice and dump it in the tub with cold water.  After a temporary spell of uncontrollable cussing, all would be well in the world. : )

Often times I hear clients saying they are in pain from their workouts, so they pop a pill (like Advil or Alieve) to kill the pain.  I’m not a big fan of this modality, especially when ice is so effective.  Okay yes…. I get it… IT’S FREAKING COLD!  But a little cold is well worth having a pain free body.

Sleep

Yes, sleep is insanely important, especially when you are exercising, losing weight, and getting in shape! You do almost all of your recovering when you sleep. You produce most of your ATP (ie: energy) when you sleep! If you are sleep deprived, you are making life very tough for your body! Give it a break and get some ZZZ’! How much? It varies for everyone, but a safe bet is 8-9 hours consistently. For those of you who are looking at that number knowing you only get 6-7 regularly, stop reading this blog IMMEDIATELY and GO TAKE A NAP! You’re sore muscles will appreciate it!

Have you tried any of the above?  Did it work? Write your comments below!

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