A Little Sore?

Kelly Goforth /

In order to improve your fitness and change your body, you need to challenge yourself physically. Those challenges mean changes to your workout routine, and those changes often mean muscle soreness. Especially after a hard workout, you may notice DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) about 18 hours after your workout.

There are many ways to help alleviate that pain… here’s a few ideas:

  1. Stretching: the research I’ve read shares that while stretching doesn’t improve performance, it CAN help with soreness and range of motion.
  2. Ice: icing a sore muscle off and on for 15 minutes each can help reduce swelling and pain, as well as encourage healing.
    Also, the research is inconclusive, but I am a big fan of ice baths after a long run. There’s nothing like 15 minutes in cold tap water and a bucket of ice, along with some essential oil for aromatherapy distraction (lavender and rosemary are my faves).
  3. Ibuprofen: helps manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  4. Rolling: aka “myofascial release” is a ‘hurts so good’ option. Foam rollers or plastic rollers can help release muscles and alleviate soreness. The plastic roller in the picture is a favorite of mine as it is mobile and fits easily in a suitcase. My other secret weapon: lacrosse ball. I get knots in my glutes that no amount of stretching or rolling can get out. Sitting on a lacrosse ball (or laying, if it’s for a knot in your back) can help you find and isolate those pesky knots and help get them released. The lacrosse balls are cheap, portable, and just the right density to give you pressure to release the knots without being too hard.
  5. Check your magnesium levels: This is especially true if you are getting muscle cramps or charley-horses. If low, you can increase banana intake. Other options are a pill supplement or powder (that you add to water and drink). A favorite I have is “Calm”. You can find it in some grocery stores (e.g. Whole Foods). Caveat: ramp up your intake slowly. Magnesium is also used as a laxative. Just sayin’…
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