Managing Muscle Soreness: Use your Mind

The first thing to keep in mind about muscle soreness after physical activity is that it is normal. Get real and get used to getting sore after workouts because it’s not going anywhere! The levels of soreness you will experience can vary but you will continue to get sore no matter what levels of fitness you attain. Did I make my point yet?

I hear so many people talking about soreness after workouts as if it is some rare phenomenon like UFO’s or a Solar eclipse! Ask any experienced athlete or exercise participant and they will tell you that certain levels of soreness are always present, it is just part of being active. The more you exercise, the more in-tune with your body you’ll become and over time, you’ll learn how to manage the soreness you experience and raise your body’s tolerance to it.

The best tool for reducing soreness is your mind. Understanding that soreness is an ever-present aspect of being active is the first step to moving beyond it. I get sore after trail runs, bike rides, snowboarding sessions and lifting sessions, no biggie. I also get sore after trying new or different types of workouts, activities or sports. Again, no biggie!

Don’t let a day or two of soreness prevent you from continuing to exercise or using it as an excuse for quitting. Once you get your mindset in order, it is time for step two.

Step two involves getting recovery nutrients after your activities. After training sessions, a low-sugar, high-protein recovery shake goes a long way in immediately starting the recovery process. Consuming quality recovery nutrients immediately after bouts of sustained physical activity will effectively increase your body’s ability to recover and ready itself for the next challenge.

Protein is essential because it contains amino acids that replenish the muscles and help them adapt and strengthen as you continue with your activities. As this process continues, your body’s tolerance for soreness increases which in turn increases your progress and performance. You don’t need to load up on carbs after workouts, keep those at a minimum and high in quality.

My favorite post-workout drink is called Glutamine Select by a company called Beverly International. It is like a sports drink yet contains no sugar but does contain essential, muscle building amino acids that really speed up recovery. It also contains L-glutamine, a specialized amino acid that helps to rebuild hard working muscles.  Check it out:  

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