Over my 3 week summer break, I didn’t do a single BBG workout. I was still staying active by swimming, stand up paddle boarding, and hiking, but sorry Kayla, I just didn’t get around to it. When I got back to school and my regular routine, I jumped straight in to week 9. HUGE mistake. After doing week 9 legs on Monday, I literally could not work normally until Saturday. It was the second most sore I’ve ever been in my life.
What you can do to avoid that post-workout muscle soreness?
1. Start gradually
When beginning a new workout regime, it is important that you take things slow. You might want to jump head first out of inspiration, motivation, or shear excitement, but you need to start gradually. Meaning progressively increase the amount of weight you lift or the number of reps you do so that you are continually challenge your body. If you’re pushing your body too hard and too fast, then it’s likely that you’re going to be pretty sore after each of your workouts! Remember that you are your only competition when you train, so it’s important that you do what is best for you and your body.
2. Fuel your body right
When your muscles are sore, inflammation is a huge part of the problem. To help reduce this inflammation, add foods to your diet that are rich in omega-3s—such as salmon, free-range meat, flax, avocado, and walnuts—to your diet. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of these foods can help dial back the soreness.
3. Stretching and foam rolling
Stretching post workout promotes mobility and can help lead to a quicker recovery. In the fitness community, this idea is not firmly agreed on, but it certainly never hurts to increase and improve flexibility! Foam rolling is essentially a form of self-massage. Foam rolling can help kickstart the healing process, and potentially reduce the soreness that you might otherwise feel the next day!
4. Move it
You may be tempted to plant yourself on the couch until the pain subsides, but try not to skip your next workout. Circulation promotes healing, so it helps to get your heart pumping—just don’t overdo it. “Active recovery” is low-intensity exercise that gets your blood flowing without taxing your muscles. For example, try walking at a quick pace for 30-45 minutes, ride a bike, or go for a swim. Aim to exert around 50% of your max effort.
5. Take a bath with epsom salts
Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is a mineral that helps your muscles to relax and recover and can also help reduce overall bodily inflammation. Try adding 1 to 2 cups to a bath. Not only will your muscles thank you, but your skin will too!
Being fit and healthy is a long journey. It is SO important to remember that missing a workout every once in awhile because you are feeling sore is okay! This won’t stop you from achieving your fitness goals. Instead, try to use your rest days effectively by foam rolling, stretching, and focusing on muscle recovery!