Sore muscles are a bit of a necessary evil. As much as they are part of our body growing stronger, they are almost always overstaying their welcome. So that’s why we are sharing our tips & tricks on preventing, treating and shortening that aching pain you never really asked for. All tried, tested and approved by the Way of Will team. You and your poor post-workout soreness are welcome.
No Pain, No Gain
Whether it’s being able to amp up your lifting game in the gym or witness baby abs making their long-awaited appearance, progress is what pushes us further. It’s what makes us better. But nothing truly great ever comes easy. To build more muscle, your body needs to break it down first. Confused? So was I. Simply put: exercise causes muscle trauma, which your brain then recognises as a minor injury before it rebuilds it. The result is stronger and leaner muscles that are better equipped against injury next time you hit the gym.
If you’ve ever made it to the gym, chances are that sore muscles and yourself have crossed paths. Whether you are a fitness beginner or top-level expert, aching muscles (yes, even if you train correctly) are somewhat inevitable.
So what can we do? Well, I’m glad you’ve asked. Soreness is part of an adaption process and can strike even the most Olympic-worthy athletes among us. So you’re never alone. Gimmicks and gadgets to help cure soreness overnight? A waste of time, really. Ways to make life as comfortable as humanly possible, however, are listed below.
Incorporate a proper warm-up and cool-down
Warm-up and cool-down? No, I’m not talking about heating up last night’s leftovers or getting your almond latte on perfect drinking temperature. Preparing your body for immense yet pleasurable torture (read: working out) is as essential as rolling a yoga mat out pre-pilates.
These are not just gimmicks to lure you in and stretch an already long workout even longer. Warming up and cooling down your body are scientifically proven ways to protect your muscles from any unnecessary harm. There are countless examples at your service on Youtube or other websites so more tutorials and videos than you could ever fathom so ‘not finding one’ is the kind of excuse that won’t fly. Ever.
Just try to incorporate these into your routine and see, feel and love the difference it makes. If you’re not that into adding another step to your already overflowing schedule, give it a fair chance. It will probably become a favourite part of your workout routine with your body reaping all the benefits.
Keep things moving (even if you really don’t want to)
The worst-case scenario for muscle soreness is landing yourself a seat on the couch with the clear intention of never moving again. It sounds like a pretty solid idea on paper, right? You’re in pain, so the last thing you want to do is make it worse.
Unfortunately, this way, you are adding fuel to the fire. Light activity is actually proven to help ease soreness as it gets your blood flowing. Benefits of increased circulation? Speedy nutrient delivery to damaged muscles and an increase in both tissue elasticity and range of motion. Ka-ching! In a nutshell, keeping things moving at a pace your body can follow is the way forward. Tip: Swimming or hitting the elliptical machine are gentle ways that don’t put too much pressure on the body.
Foam, an unexpected ally
Foam rollers are everywhere. If Pilates is considered to be the green juice revolution of exercise, foam rollers are the kale that goes with it. Still clueless? This light-as-air tube is designed to release tension and knots wherever your body needs it most. Most experienced runners already use it as an essential part of their warm-up or cool-down routine and for a good reason.
These cylindrical tools are so much more than meets the eye. Don’t just aimlessly roll away – google how to’s or follow along with your favourite fitness guru. Quick warning: it can be a little painful but let’s consider that the small price you should be willing to pay.
Good things come to those who massage
Cooling, warming and revitalizing. If you’d ask us to describe our Soothe and Cool Massage Oil in three words, these would be it. With nothing but good-for-your-body ingredients (like Peppermint and German Chamomile) to ease the pain while invigorating the senses, this oil is the top shelf’s companion you should never be without. If you’re anything like me, you’d agree that there’s nothing more satisfying than a massage. Sadly, their appearances seem to be as scarce as the truffle particles in our pasta (we’re still looking). But massaging yourself is the next best thing.
It’s relatively inexpensive, effective and, if done right, almost feels like the real deal. Lemongrass essential oil will treat your body in all the right places and it’s responsible for calming the sore muscles and slack tissues. Sweet almond, apricot kernel and jojoba oil will keep your skin coming back for more. It’s the equivalent of a spa, in the comfort of your own home. Just use a few drops on damp skin to give your body the post-workout TLC it deserves. It would be rude not to, really.