For many people, “feeling the burn” is a part of exercising. Muscle pain experienced afterward, however, can be uncomfortable and detrimental. According to the physical therapy staff at LightPort Physical Therapy & Spa in Caldwell, NJ, there are several ways to prepare your body to reduce and eliminate post-workout soreness properly. Doing this will ensure you can get back to the gym without lingering pain and avoid any associated injuries.
How to Take Care of Your Muscles to Avoid Pain After Working Out
Stretching is the most important and overlooked part of pre- and post-workouts. To avoid soreness, stretch your entire body for at least 10 minutes before beginning activity. It’s best to focus on dynamic stretches, which involves moving as you stretch, instead of static ones. A few options to try include lunges, push-ups, and sit-to-stand exercises. A combination of these lighter exercises will strengthen your core muscles before and after a workout—the goal is to work all your muscle groups for the best results.
It’s imperative that you give your body an ample amount of water before, during, and after working out. When you’re dehydrated, it can cause your muscles to cramp, eventually causing soreness. They’ll also heal more slowly.
While the exact amount can vary depending on your age, weight, and exercise regimen, the general recommendation is: 17 to 20 ounces two to three hours before working out; 8 ounces about 20 to 30 minutes before exercising; 7 to 10 ounces every 20 minutes as you exercise; and 8 ounces within 30 minutes of completing your workout. Although this may seem like a lot of water, your body needs to replenish.
3. Get a Massage
If you’re dealing with regular muscle pain, it could be related to an underlying injury. Get a sports massage from a physical therapy specialist to target exercise-related injuries and discomfort, preferably within three hours after a workout. A sports massage is a type of medical massage, often given as part of a physical therapy treatment to relieve chronic issues.
A therapist will tailor the treatment depending on what muscle groups are causing pain. They may combine techniques from deep tissue and trigger point massage to release toxins and increase your range of motion and flexibility. By working with a physical therapist, you can optimize treatment and avoid future incidents.
With a little preparation, you’ll be able to hit the gym energized. The staff at LightPort Physical Therapy & Spa can help your experience through holistic medicine and therapy. Dr. John de Hoyos, DPT, and his team offer a variety of services to address and treat pain, and they are committed to ensuring their clients remain healthy. Call (973) 228-0072 today to schedule a physical therapy appointment and visit their website and Facebook page to learn more.