How to Deal With Muscle Aches After Exercise

How to Deal With Muscle Aches After Exercise
Aching muscles are a normal part of every athlete's routine. Usually the result of inflammation caused by minor tears in an overworked muscle, this soreness can hinder future athletic endeavors and can result in injury if not properly treated. Although an aching muscle may be inevitable, there are methods of reducing the discomfort that often occurs after an intense exercise session.

Rest

Resting may be the best and safest way to deal with aching muscles, particularly if the discomfort is due to weight lifting. When muscles ache, try to refrain from the activity that made them sore for 24 to 48 hours, at which point the soreness should subside enough to resume the activity. Once you're ready to resume your activity, start out slow to stretch and warm up your muscles to keep further aches and pains to a minimum.

Icing

Icing is an effective way to reduce the inflammation of sore, achy muscles. To relieve and prevent aching muscles, many athletes will immerse themselves in an ice bath. For a less-intense approach, many athletes prefer to use an ice pack. To ice your aching muscle directly, apply an ice pack to the sore area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, repeating as desired.

Light Stretching

Lactic acid may remain in muscles after strenuous activity, causing muscle aching. Light stretching is very helpful in clearing out lactic acid from muscles. To relieve aching muscles, focus your stretching on the area that aches. Stretch lightly, because stretching too aggressively may lead to a pulled muscle. It's a good idea to consult a fitness professional to make sure you are stretching effectively and with proper form.

Diet

Achy muscles are a sign that they are rebuilding. Proper diet can go a long way toward speeding up the rebuilding process and easing soreness. When recovering from physical activity, make sure you are taking in enough protein to aid your muscles in recovering. About a gram of protein per pound of body weight every day is ideal for the recovering athlete.

Article Written By Billy Brown

Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California. An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.

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