Muscle soreness is understandable, if not expected, when you're training multiple times a week. Strenuous exercise or activity causes micro-tears in stressed muscles. To help repair, white blood cells rush to the damaged area and start the process. It’s actually the intensity of the reparations, not the damage itself, that cause our soreness! Here are some ways to help beat and mitigate muscle soreness:
- Keep moving. The best thing to do sometimes is to move what ever muscle group is especially sore. Sore from squats? Rather than sitting down all day, make sure to get your legs moving with some aerobic work and then hit some easy squats to loosen up the stiff muscles. This will get your blood pumping to speed recovery to the affected area!
- Sleep more. Sleep is hugely important in your recovery process! Ignoring this will stress the body and cause it to preferentially choose to store your energy intake as fat and not burn it as fuel. Instead the body will choose to break down muscle mass, due to elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, to provide energy for your training.
- Hydrate. There are a variety of different opinions on what it means to be adequately hydrated. To keep it simple, your goal should be to urinate close to clear most of the day. Also, do not forget to include some electrolytes throughout the day to replace what is lost with sweat!
- Eat more. Carbs, fats, and proteins are necessary to properly fuel and recover from our daily training. If you are not eating enough, your body will struggle to recover efficiently. Adequate protein intake ensures that we have the building blocks for recovery, growth, and to prevent muscle breakdown. Fat is essential for hormonal regulation. Carbohydrates help the body restore glycogen stores after training which allows your body to quickly start the recovery process!