With Summer right around the corner, you may be scrambling to get back into an exercise routine. And with a new exercise routine or extra hard training in your normal routine, comes sore muscles. Luckily, there are a few effective, easy home treatments to help soothe your aches and pains.
What Causes Sore Muscles
Delayed onset muscle soreness, which typically occurs 1–2 days after exercise and lasts an average of 2–3 days, is the most common form of post-workout aches and pains. When you’re working out hard, tiny tears happen within your muscles, which cause soreness.
Thankfully, there are some very effective ways to deal with muscles soreness. In fact, I’m going to share four of my favorite tips for soothing sore muscles – and with this insider knowledge, you can go forth in exercise without fear!
1. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt contains magnesium which can help relax skeletal muscles and flush out the lactic acid buildup that happens with exercise. You can buy this magical salt in most grocery stores, and it even comes in different scents like lavender or citrus.
To help sooth sore muscles, warm up a bath and sprinkle in 2–4 cups of Epsom salt. Soak for 20–30 minutes.
Not only do massages feel incredibly relaxing, but they can also help ease muscle pain after a hard workout. Studies have shown that massage reduces a compound that plays a critical role in muscle inflammation after working out. It also stimulates mitochondria which aids in muscle repair .
There are multiple types of massages such as sports massage, deep tissue, swedish, and lomi lomi. Sports and deep tissue massage are the go-to post-workout recovery aids that many elite athletes turn to.
3. Ice Bath
Ice Baths are a sworn recovery secret by many top athletes like marathoners, Olympic lifters, and NFL players. They aren’t for the faint of heart, however.
Following a hard workout, submerging your body in ice cold water for 15 minutes is believed to help with recovery time and muscle inflammation. In recent studies, ice baths have reduced muscle soreness by about 20% .
You can create your own ice bath by filling up your tub and adding ice cubes to it. The goal is to get the water to around 46 degrees.
Arnica is a homeopathic medicine that comes from a flower and can relieve swelling, bruising, and pain. It can be taken in pill form or used as a cream, gel or ointment, and is a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to take Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pills. You can find Arnica in your local supplement store or natural foods store.
References: Bakalar, Nicholas. “How Massage Heals Sore Muscles.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Feb. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.  Doheny, Kathleen. “Ice Baths for Sore Muscles Can Work.” WebMD. WebMD, 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2017