If you’ve been sticking to the same type of workout for more than six weeks, you may start to see diminishing results. Your body gets more coordinated at activities the more you do them and figures out how to get them done with less calorie expenditure.
Bummer is that you might hit a plateau in your fitness levels unless you change things up. You’ll want to implement some cross training with different activities and think about pushing yourself a bit harder. With a change in activity and intensity, you might feel a few sore muscles. So try these simple ideas to help reduce the post onset muscle soreness and reduce pain and inflammation in the body.
1. RICE. Rest, ice, compression and elevate. Although this is treatment for an injury, when you push your muscles to the limits, there are micro-tears in the fibers that occur. This may induce swelling and pain which can be treated easily with a bag of ice and bandage wrap to hold it in place. Ice for 10-15 minutes or until the skin is red. Keep in mind, you don’t need to be in pain to ice your susceptible joints like knees or shoulders after a hard run or Crossfit workouts and reduce the potential swelling that might occur.
2. Spice up your diet. Tumeric is considered an Indian spice but it has healing, anti-inflammatory properties. Think of it as an “ibuprofen” for your joints. Opt for foods with Tumeric at least 2-3 times per week.
3. Gingerly love. If you love the taste of ginger mints, think ginger tea or shaving a little fresh ginger into your juices. Not only does ginger help with nausea but it helps reduce muscle pain by 20% according to a recent study. Steep fresh ginger root in hot water with a little honey for an afternoon pre-pain blocker or first thing in the morning to treat next day workout muscle soreness.
4. Shake it up. Although you may not have access to a Power Plate at home, (but they are sold to consumers) Vibration training is coming to more gyms, rehab centers and of course a staple in professional athletes’ gyms and homes. Vibration training, like massage, helps reduce muscle soreness and improves muscle recovery. Standing on the Power plate with knees slightly bent works, but target body parts by laying down on it and getting that vibrating massage directly into the muscle.
5. Cherry Up. Tart cherry juice is another way to help drink in the anti-inflammatories and fight free radical damage. This bitter but healthy drink has been known to help Gout which means it helps reduce the toxins in the body as well. Eating cherries can help but the best way is to consume 1-2 shots of juice right after your workout.
If you’re an avid fitness fanatic or just a day-today gym goer, remember prevention is key. Try a few of these strategies even if you don’t have muscle pain and remember that muscle pain or soreness is different than joint pain. See a physician or physical therapist for a screening if you have joint pain or swelling after a workout.