General Question

windex's avatar

What to do while your muscles are recovering? (soreness)

Asked by windex (2932points) December 20th, 2009

Does anyone know of any way to “take care” of your muscles, days following workouts?

I don’t mind the soreness, but I was wondering if I can help the muscles recover better by either keeping them warm or putting an icepack on them or do the Ice/heat thingy

This part is from webmd
“Exercise physiologists and athletic trainers have not yet discovered a panacea for DOMS,” says Draper, “however, several remedies such as ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medication, massage, heat, and stretch have been reported as helpful in the process of recovery.”

btw, DOMS=delated Delayed onset muscle soreness (Which i just learned)

I’m lifting heavy weights and just want to maximize the results

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15 Answers

missingbite's avatar

The two most important things are rest and protein.

chicadelplaya's avatar

Well, webmd has some good advice for you. Keep moving, cross train if you can (swim, bike, etc.) Also, its always beneficial to eat some kind of carbohydrate 15 minutes after a core workout. This is the time when your muscles are going to be able to restore the most glycogen back in your muscles to give you the most energy for your next work out.

TominLasVegas's avatar

rest and maybe soaking in a warm bath

Judi's avatar

I think drinking lots of water is supposed to help, as well as epsom salts baths.

Fyrius's avatar

Bananas help, or anything with potassium. Take one after your workout, you’ll feel less sore.
And stretching the muscles you’ve used afterwards.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Ice immediately, heat the next day. It’s always worked for me. If it’s really bad, muscle-relaxants.

missingbite's avatar

@Fyrius GA! I forgot potassium. Bananas also help with altitude sickness. I eat dried banana chips while at the cabin for sore legs and altitude. (7000+Ft.)

john65pennington's avatar

I went through our police academy not once, but twice. just to see if i could survive it, again. i prayed for death. since it did not come to me, i had to outsmart my soreness. i first took two aspirins. i then soaked in a tub of hot water for 30 minutes. i dragged myself to the gym and slowly began to limber my limbs one by one. nothing fierce, just normal slow motions. i figured that if i let my body go to sleep without a period of “slow motion”, that i would not be able to move the next morning. i was right. this worked for me. and, i did graduate twice from the academy.

smashbox's avatar

Gentle stretching 2–3 times a day, will work out the soreness, this will also, get rid of the lactic acid, that has been built up. I agree with the poster above, bannanas work just great. Make sure you have a really good stretch after your workout, that will help lessen your being so sore, the next time. Never stretch a cold muscle, walk gently in place about 3 minutes to warm your body up, and then proceed with the stretches. If any muscle(s) really hurts, put an ice pack on it. Give your body rest, and avoid any strenuous exericse.

You can also walk 15 minutes to help give the sore muscles oxygen, this will also increase the circulation, which will lessen the soreness.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@john65pennington What ever motivated you to go through the academy twice? Were you forced to?

Dabria's avatar

Thats a very good question, DOMS is very common among those involved in sporting activities, your best option is to rest but not completely, transfer to light exercises, also massage is fantastic for DOMS, if you can not afford to see a therapist buy some oils and use them yourself. You don’t need to use ice where no injury has occured, so heat may be the better option in this situation!
Light exercises, Stretching, Massage, heat.

Sixty_B's avatar

Epsom salt bath and stretches. It’s also good to do different exercises on different days and alternate, never working the same muscles 2 days in a row. Creating an exercise calendar is a good idea. Like, lift weights for arms MWF, cardio 4–5 times a week, and legs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. Always give yourself a day to rest – your muscle needs that time to build! And remember that what you eat also contributes to how you feel. Get more potassium. Eating a banana right after a workout repairs muscle.

iLove's avatar

Complete Rest doesn’t always help. Active Rest is a better term for what should follow exercise that causes sore muscles. @Dabria had a great answer. Active rest includes walking at a brisk pace, or biking, or something low impact. When you train your muscles, you are tearing them so that they build up. During this process, they often shorten so stretching and moving can only help the process.

It has been a subject of debate as to whether lactic acid is the culprit, since lactic acid is not supposedly gone within 30–60 minutes after you exercise.

Crow's avatar

The best thing you can do for your muscles, is get good nutrition: Consume good amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, take a multi vitamin, and consume essential fatty acids.

For fast recovery, try drinking a couple cups of green tea per day. This speeds up recovery time dramatically.

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