Whether you’ve just pushed yourself through a CrossFit session or have been hitting the weights more frequently throughout the week, take steps to prevent muscle soreness so that you can get back to your routine sooner than later. Sore muscles can actually be a good sign but may prevent you from pushing your max during that next workout. However, there are several things you can do to prevent sore muscles after an intense exercise session.
Here are five ways to prevent muscle soreness after a workout:
#1: Drink a protein shake with glutamine powder right after your workout. Glutamine is an amino acid that can help with recovery. I’m rarely sore after my workouts because I drink my protein shake with glutamine within about ten minutes of finishing my routine. Mixing a serving of glutamine powder into your post-workout shake is a great way to help your body recover after the workout and prevent muscle soreness.
#2: Stay hydrated. Even if you don’t end up sweating a lot during your workout, you need to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help all body processes run optimally. Dehydration will not only make you feel tired but can also make you feel extremely sore the following day.
#3: Stretch. Stretching the muscles you’ve worked for at least a full five minutes can improve blood flow to the area and help the recovery process. Stretching can be part of your cool down session and will help you feel more balanced after an intense routine. You’ll not only feel better but you can also increase flexibility so that you push harder during that next workout.
#4: Take a nap. A recovery nap is a great way to help your body repair itself quickly after an intense session so try and schedule a nap after your post-workout meal when possible. If you work out at night, make sure you are eating a good meal and getting plenty of sleep. Anything you can do to help your body recover faster will prevent soreness and make you feel that much better when you hit the gym again.
#5: Go for a walk. Walking at a medium to fast pace after a strength training workout can help to increase circulation and may be an effective cool down strategy. Unless you’re doing an intense cardio session after your weight routine, plan on walking for about five to ten minutes at a steady pace to increase blood flow throughout the body and prevent soreness and tightness the following day.