After a serious leg day at the gym, have you ever ended up with some dangerously sore muscles and a set-back for days? The goal of a good workout is not necessarily to be sore, and it definitely shouldn’t leave you so sore you can’t move for a week. But sometimes, you’re going to be sore. Whether you’ve started a new program, come back after a period of inactivity, or have some underlying issues, etc., here’s what to include in your post workout routine to minimize soreness, speed up healing and decrease inflammation:
Step 1: Water!
As always, drink plenty of water to flush out toxins are help your body heal, replenish and feel good. A great tip? Add a packet of electrolyte mix. I love those from Trace Minerals.
Step 2: Protein.
Right after I get home, I make a balanced meal with an ample serving of protein, especially if I lifted heavy. If you are on the go, a protein shake, raw nuts or nut butter and fruit/veggies are good options.
Step 3: Lymphatic Brushing.
This is a technique in which you stroke a lymph brush upwards towards your heart over all your skin, from legs to stomach to arms, etc. After I eat, I head to the bathroom and take my clothes off to brush my skin before showering.
Step 4: Epsom Salt Bath.
If I have time, or if I’m extra sore, I will run a hot bath with lots of Epsom salts and whatever essential oils sound good. Epsom salt helps detox your body and muscles and will help soothe your soreness.
Step 5: Magnesium Cream.
Magnesium is well absorbed through the skin, and it can greatly help with sore muscles, so I keep this magnesium cream on hand by my bedside and rub some on my legs and stomach. I also keep Tiger Balm around to rub on sore arms, back, chest, and leg muscles if needed.
Step 6: Deep Breathing.
End your routine (and day) with a few minutes of slow, deep breathing. I personally like the method of breathing in slowly through the nose for 4-8 seconds, and out through the mouth for 10 or more seconds. It took me awhile to be able to do this, but I really like it now. Another great option is to breathe in for 3-4 seconds, pause for 3-4 seconds, breathe out for 3-4 seconds and pause again for 3-4 seconds before starting again. This is called box breathing, as you can imagine creating a box or square as you go through each segment.