This post is sponsored by Stoneridge Orchards. All opinions are my own.
I just got back from the first 5K of the season for me. It was a perfect day. The weather was nice at about 60 degrees with a cool breeze blowing. I feel that awesome ‘runner’s high’ from crossing the finish line. This feeling probably won’t last long though as my muscles will start to hurt from all the fun we just had together. At least that used to be my story. Now, I pay closer attention to muscle recovery as it’s not only important for skipping some of the pain of sore muscles, but faster recovery means I can get out there and do it again quicker. (I once ran 2 races back to back!)
If you are looking for ways to get over the pain of post-workout sore muscles, here are 6 tips for faster muscle recovery.
6 Tips for Faster Muscle Recovery
Eat a good post workout snack within 10 minutes of stopping activity– Did you know that blueberries have been shown to help with muscle recovery? They contain antioxidants called phytochemicals that help speed up how fast your muscles recover from strenuous exercise. I like to grab a handful of Stoneridge Orchards Organic Dried Blueberries and stick them in a small container to take them on the go with me. I take these instead of fresh because they are more portable and won’t get bruised or become juice if I carry them around on my runs.
Stay well hydrated before, during and after your workout– Many people discount the importance of hydration before workouts. They instead rely on their body to tell them when they need to drink water. The truth is, if you wait until you are thirsty, you are already slightly dehydrated. So, make sure to get a lot to drink before you work out and drink at regular intervals while working out as well as after. Not enough water can not only slow down muscle recovery, but it can also cause painful Charley horses.
Stretch post-activity– Most people know that stretching beforehand can help your muscles warm up and loosen. Stretching after is also incredibly helpful for muscle recovery because it helps your tight muscles loosen back up after a workout and it tends to work through the broken down proteins that happen in your muscles and lead to pain. You don’t have to do a lot. Just 5 minutes of post-workout stretching.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep– Sleep is super important for muscle recovery because it is the time when you are actually off your muscles and relaxing them so they can repair and rebuild. Shoot for at least 8-9 hours a night if you are active.
Use a roller on your muscles or have a friend rub your muscles after working out– I am so happy to see muscle rolling devices being sold. My husband is usually pretty good about making sure I get enough rubbing on my legs, arms and back after a run, but there are times when he isn’t around that a device is very helpful. Do 10 minutes or so of rubbing on your muscles post-workout to help with scar tissue or muscle knots that may be forming.
Ice your muscles– Have you ever sprained an ankle? Doctors will almost always tell folks who do to elevate and ice it. This same thing can be applied to sore muscles after a workout. Ice your sore muscle groups and elevated them above your heart if possible to keep them from hurting as long or as much.
What are some ways that you aid your muscles in recovery?