This time of year, with longer days and nicer weather, we are often inclined to be more active. Running, biking, hiking, climbing, kayaking, and more – there are endless activities to do in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor. After a strenuous activity or workout, we are probably aware that we should stretch out our muscles to relieve tension, but this often doesn’t happen. The following day, our muscles can often cease up and feel especially tight and tense. Below are a few ways that can be beneficial to loosen your muscles and feel less sore, so you can get on to the next activity
- Stretching: Lengthening out your muscles by stretching is important so that your muscles feel looser and more relaxed the next day. Stretch out the muscles in your legs, arms, back, and neck, and enjoy the benefits!
- Arnica: Arnica is a plant that can be used medicinally to help relieve sore, strained and tired muscles. It is available in a cream, gel, or balm, and can be applied to the muscles affected after a strenuous workout.
- Hydration: Make sure you drink adequate water prior to, during and post-exercise. You will feel better physically and mentally for it
- Electrolytes: Add electrolytes – for example Nuun tablets – to your water during and after a workout to replenish what you have lost via sweat during your workout. Your muscles should be more relaxed, and you will feel more hydrated.
- Magnesium: Take magnesium (citrate, chelate, or bisglycinate) before bed the night of your activity. It will help to heal your muscles, replenish any deficiencies, and encourage a deeper, restorative sleep.
- Sleep: Good quality and quantity of sleep is always important, but especially after a strenuous, intense activity. Sleep is regenerating, rejuvenating, and restorative, so enjoy the benefits that sleep can provide to you.
- Epsom Salt Baths: Muscles use oxygen and nutrients while they are at work, and produce carbon dioxide and waste product. The principle waste product of muscle metabolism is called lactic acid. If you have ever experienced a stiff, achy feeling in your muscles during or after vigorous exercise, then you are familiar with a build-up of lactic acid in your tissues. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and can help promote the release of lactic acid from muscle tissue. An Epsom salt bath can be very helpful anytime you are suffering from muscle aches or pain
Epsom salts are available at any drug store. Use 2-4 cups in a full bath, as hot as you can comfortably tolerate. Soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes. Wash or rinse as usual following the bath. Drink plenty of water after to replenish your fluid levels that you lost during perspiration.
CAUTION: If you are over 50 and/or have been diagnosed with heart problems, moderate the water temperature and avoid submerging your body above heart level. Use a cold towel around your neck. If you have further concerns, please consult your doctor before using Epsom salt baths.
Enjoy being active! Cheers to happy, relaxed muscles!