Do you find that you are exercising more now that you’re stuck at home?
Those who love working out are all too familiar with feeling sore the next day. Usually, muscle soreness is nothing to worry about, since it may be just a sign that your muscles are repairing themselves after a particularly heavy workout.
That sore feeling is actually inflammation, which can only be described as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s good to feel it. On the other, it can also mean something’s wrong.
How To Tell The Two Scenarios Apart
Generally speaking, the ‘bad kind’ of inflammation will prevent you from hopping on the treadmill the next day. It presents as rather severe pains in the muscles or areas you’ve pushed in your previous workout and can persist even for a few days.
This can especially happen in people who are not used to working out, or who’ve recently gone above and beyond with their training. Professional athletes can experience these inflammatory episodes as well, but they are mostly a sign of injury.
So how can you prevent inflammation from reaching your workout goals?
There are some things you can do:
1. Stretch Before And After Every Workout
Stretching prepares your muscles for the effort you’ll put them through in your workout, so try not to rush through this step. Though you may be eager to start lifting weights as soon as you change into your gym clothes, it’s incredibly important to allow your body to warm up.
Additionally, you really need to stretch after each workout. When done in the end, it can provide your muscles with extra comfort, and may even lower the amount of pain you’ll feel the next day.
2. Don’t Push Too Soon
Exercising is good for everyone, but not everyone can do the same activities at the same level. And that’s perfectly fine. Instead of shooting for the start and risk hurting yourself, start slow, especially if you’re only now starting to work out. Even just walking more during the day is a great way to start your fitness journey.
3. Drink Water - And Lots Of It
Hydration helps keep your muscles safe and lowers the risk of post-workout inflammation. Plus, you may benefit from the tiny water breaks as well, as they can prevent you from overdoing it.
4. Focus On Your Diet Too
If inflammation is serious, then you should also consider following an anti-inflammatory diet as well. There are many diets proven to lower inflammation, but even incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods like avocados or broccoli can help. And, you know, cut down on the quarantine snacks!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will the perfect workout. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, be more fit, or just want to be more physically active, pay close attention to how your workouts affect your body. It’s a journey, not a race, especially as we all try to be patient with staying home another week during the pandemic.