It’s true what they say: no pain, no gain.
Feeling a little stiff or sore after a workout is completely normal. That’s because exercise creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. The tissues grow as they heal. The result? Your muscles get bigger and stronger.
However, too much pain can stand in the way of your progress. Chronic stiffness or soreness, muscle fatigue, reduced performance – these are all signs your body needs a helping hand.
Here are 5 ways you can accelerate your body’s natural healing process and help your muscles recover from post-workout soreness:
After an intense workout, your muscles need rest in order to heal. But that doesn’t mean you need to lay around on the couch all day. There are plenty of low-impact exercises that make great rest day activities.
Low-impact workouts help you stay active without overstressing your body. They also let you enjoy exercise in a more relaxed way. Examples of low-impact workouts include:
Gentle exercises like these will give your muscles a chance to rest and restore their depleted glycogen levels. This will help repair microtears in your tissues and relieve muscles stiffness and soreness.
Yoga is another athletic activity that will help you keep up the momentum without straining your body. It’s especially effective as a recovery tool because it stretches out your superficial muscle tissues (i.e. where the skin connects to your muscles, and where microtears occur).
There are many different forms of yoga. It’s important to choose a style that will be gentle on your body. Hatha, Anusara, and Lyengar are all great for recovery, whereas Ashtanga or Power yoga can put unwanted stress on your already exhausted muscles.
Yoga will also help your body bounce back from the intense stress of your usual workout routine. High-impact exercises like running or weightlifting cause your muscles to tense up and shorten, whereas yoga will help stretch your muscles back out, keeping them loose and pliable.
Hot and Cold Therapy
When your body aches, temperature is often the key to relief. Heat and cold can both be effective muscle recovery treatments when used correctly.
Heat therapy can be applied with a heating pad or a hot water bottle. It boosts circulation and blood flow, which rapidly soothes pain, relaxes strained muscles, and helps heal damaged tissue. Heat is best used in the days following an injury or intense workout.
Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, can be applied to the whole body with a cryotherapy chamber, or to individual muscles with an ice pack. It works by reducing blood flow to a particular area, which will help numb the pain and bring down swelling.
There are many recovery tools on the market that offer hot or cold therapy, but KoreSphere is uniquely designed to offer both. It can be heat or cold activated to relieve any type of muscle pain and help your body heal.
The technical name for foam rolling is self-myofascial release. Much like a deep tissue massage, foam rolling creates sustained pressure on your muscles, which signals the central nervous system to reduce tension.
Because of their size and shape, foam rollers are particularly effective at treating large muscle groups like your legs, back, and chest. By immediately following up exercise with foam rolling, you can significantly reduce post-workout soreness.
Foam rolling is also a good warmup routine because it primes your muscles for exercise. After foam rolling you get a window of increased flexibility, which can help you get into your workout faster and keep it going for longer.
For deep muscle pain, you’ll want to find a foam roller with a grid texture like KoreSurge. The deep tissue spikes are perfect for reaching knots buried below the surface.
Vibration therapy is a relatively new muscle recovery technique. Like cryotherapy, it can be applied to the full body or localized in small areas, usually with a massage tool.
When vibrations travel through your body it causes your muscles to repeatedly contract and relax. This triggers a natural response in your body that boosts circulation, relieves pain, and increases flexibility.
There is even some evidence that vibration therapy increases the production of osteoblasts—cells that improve bone strength. NASA uses vibration therapy on their astronauts to improve bone density while in space.
The best recovery tools are those that combine vibration therapy with myofascial release, like KorePulse. Not only will it provide fast relief from stiffness and soreness, but it can also help build muscular strength when combined with regular exercise.