Muscle soreness sucks, but it’s inevitable when you start a new workout program. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) tends to show up 1-2 days after your workout, and can last up to 2 or 3 days depending on the intensity and familiarity of the exercise. Here are the tips I’ve learned over the years for dealing with DOMS.

  1. Stretching

Stretching is often your first line of defense. Your muscles are full of lactic acid, are contracted and tighter. Stretching helps loosen up your muscles to work the lactic acid out of them. For a list of stretches you can do, visit the beachbody blog at: https://www.beachbodyondemand.com/blog/search/stretch

2. Hydration

The perfect amount of water is 1/2 your body weight in ounces. For example, if I was 180 lbs, I should be drinking at least 90 oz of water everyday. Make sure you are getting that much and more to flush that lactic acid out of your system.

3. Foam Roll

Adding a foam roll to your stretching not only helps you go deeper into the stretch, it also serves as a massage to help work out the deep knots that can occur from DOMS.

4. Nutrition

Adding a post-workout recovery to your routine will help rebuild those muscle fibers faster and stronger, which will lead to relief of that muscle soreness even faster. Beyond that, ensure to include enough portions of carbs, healthy fats and protein in your diet to support that recovery.

5. Heating and icing

Heating your muscles with a heat pad will increase blood flow and circulation, which will help flush out the lactic acid even faster. Icing will help reduce the muscle inflammation and swelling. Alternating 15 to 20 minutes between hot and cold can do both.

6. Keep Moving!

While it may hurt to do so, this is exactly what your body needs to overcome muscle soreness. Go for a walk around your office building or work place, or for a work around the block in the morning or evening in your neighborhood. You may feel like a baby giraffe, but this will also work out that inflammation and lactic acid, and will get you feeling like new again.

While I don’t recommend it, you can also take ibuprofen on occasion for those extra bad cases. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug and will help reduce the swelling and pain that is associated. However, limit this as there are long term affects of ibuprofen on your heart and liver!

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