Try these four ways to prevent and reduce muscle soreness
Yoga, yoga, yoga
Lengthening, strengthening and conditioning our muscles is what yoga is all about. Hot yoga is especially effective at helping to open up our joints and care for our muscles as the heat can help to deepen the elongation and unwinding of our muscles that we typically get during a yoga class. This helps to prepare our bodies for serious exercise and keep DOMS at bay. If done properly, yoga can also build muscles, particularly core muscles, and the stronger we are, the quicker our recovery can be.
Rock and foam roll
Foam rolling helps with range of motion, smoothing the fibres in our muscles and warming them up so as we roll and stretch, they release and relax. Why we foam roll and the benefits of foam rolling make for interesting reading - there are various opinions among the scientific community, many of which agree that foam rolling is a wonderful thing, but not always agreeing why we foam roll. Either way, foam rolling is excellent for reducing the likelihood of DOMS and giving us a big release when we’ve overdone it. We definitely recommend giving this a try.
Ice ice baby
Cold showers and ice baths have been a go-to for athletes for centuries, but the positive power of cold water has come to the fore in recent years. We’ve even seen celebrities live streaming their ice baths during lockdown! Ice baths speed up our recovery by reducing inflammation and toning down swelling. It’s also very good for our mental health and our metabolism, and there’s even research which reveals that cold water showers can help prevent vascular dementia. The longer we can bear it, the greater the effects can be, but the immediate benefits are to alleviate the impact of DOMS.
The mineral magnesium is important for optimal muscle and joint functioning, as well as energy production and lessening of inflammation. There is also evidence to suggest that magnesium even helps to aid the dispersal of lactic acid, which builds up when we exercise and causes the burning sensation that we associate with exertion (e.g. harder workouts). The good news is magnesium can be absorbed through magnesium flakes in a warm bath, which in itself is great for a sore and aching body. It’s another weapon in our anti-DOMS arsenal.