Tuesday, July 30, 2019

My Go-to's for Muscle Soreness Relief

My Go-to's for Muscle Soreness Relief
* This post contains gifted items & affiliate marketing links.

From workouts to dancing all the time, there's a lot of muscle soreness in my home on a regular basis. I do Pilates almost every day, walk everywhere and dance multiple times a week. My husband does Pilates, runs and lifts weights, all multiple times a week. Between the two of us, there's a lot of moaning about sore muscles, but don't get me wrong... We don't complain about it. Instead, we're annoyingly smug, constantly congratulating each other for working hard on our fitness. That said, sometimes it's a bit uncomfortable and we've become rather accustomed to finding ways to reduce the soreness how and when we can. Here are my 7 go-to remedies for muscle soreness... If they help us, here's hoping they can help you too!

Magnesium flakes

1. Bath Salts
My most favourite way to deal with sore muscles is to jump in a hot bath, preferably with magnesium flakes. For minor soreness, I find that a good magnesium bath works wonders and quickly too. I feel almost instant relief after just a 10 minute soak in the tub. Funny enough, I had an Uber driver once who was studying psychology and he told me that this remedy is rubbish, that it's all in my mind like a placebo effect, but I don't care... Whatever works, right? My favourite magnesium flakes are by Mag12 and they make four different variations that are all brilliant, depending on what you want out of your bath. These are available online directly from Mag12. I usually find mine at TK Maxx, but you can also get them sometimes from Amazon. Epsom salts are great too and I sometimes use them as an alternative, but for me personally, magnesium seems to work better.
* Tip: For an added bonus to combat against stiff, sore muscles, I add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to the bath as well.


2. Float
A much more expensive alternative to a bath is to book a session in a float pod. I've done this twice and both times I felt an incredible relief from muscle soreness among many other benefits. (Click here to read about my experience.) It's not cheap, but if your body is feeling especially tired or you fancy treating yourself, I highly recommend trying a float. I like Floatworks which has locations dotted around the city, but you can use Google to find a place near you if you're not in London.
* Disclosure - I've worked with Floatworks in the past.

Actidren Revitalising Leg Gel

3. Creams
There are so many creams and gels available on the market and there's definitely something for everyone, so don't think that if you hated one that you'll hate them all. I'm currently really loving Actidren e'lifexir Revitalising Leg Gel [gifted] which is available here from Amazon and also here from Holland & Barrett. It smells lovely, isn't overly potent like some hot & cold creams and yet really helps tight leg muscles to relax a bit. Other creams and gels I like are Nu Skin EPOCH Ice Dancer and Biofreeze.


4. Move
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you're sore, sitting can might make it worse. Warm up those stiff muscles by moving them again... It doesn't have to be strenuous or hard, but even a simple walk can help to ease the discomfort and it's better than sitting around in misery.

5. Roll
A foam roller whether it be the handheld kind or the big round cylindrical type can be invaluable for relieving tight, sore muscles. I once had an issue when I could get my calves to relax for a couple of weeks. They were so tight, sore and cramping all the time. A friend recommended that I roll them out with a foam roller and it was the best advice I've ever had. Now I roll everything on a regular basis and it can be uncomfortable while you're doing it, but the results are worth it. If you can't stand the large cylinder style rollers, then a handheld one will be more your speed and you can control the pressure much more easily.

6. Mud
I found these at-home mud wraps at TK Maxx a while ago and I love them. There's something about covering your body in mud that makes you feel like you're doing something good for yourself. Dead Sea mud masks help to soothe and relax achy joints and/or muscles because it's naturally rich magnesium, calcium and potassium. It's also supposed to be good for your skin health and can be used on dry, itchy or acne-prone skin as well as skin prone to eczema or psoriasis. I'll be completely honest... Mud masks are a messy business, so it's not something you'd want to do every day unless you have someone who's happy to clean up after you. That said, it's a nice treat now and then and I find it really soothing if I'm particularly sore or achy. I've tried lots of different ones because I find them in places like TK Maxx, but Westlab makes a good one and you can get it here.


7. Stretch
Again, who what's to stretch when they're in pain, right? But it honestly helps... I'm the worst for this - I hate stretching, especially when I'm sore, but now that I do Pilates all the time, I don't have much choice and I always feel better for it.


8. Massage
This is my least favourite option if I'm honest and I know that's weird. Everyone seems to love a massage, but I personally hate them. Whether it's a relaxing spa massage or a hardcore sports massage, I'd almost rather do anything else, but even I can't deny the benefits of having my muscles worked on, especially if I'm in a lot of discomfort. Full disclosure... A massage, especially a sports massage, can make you feel worse before you feel better, but when I'm extremely sore, feel like I might have a minor injury or just can't get rid of the uncomfortable tightness with any of the above options, a massage is my last resort. As much as I hate it, it totally works and I'm far more physically productive afterwards.


I hope you will find these tips useful in relieving your own muscle soreness after a workout. There's nothing worse that being too tight and achy to carry on when you're on a roll. If you have any great tips, feel free to share them in the comments below!
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