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10 Natural Ways to Recover from a Tough Workout

January 25, 2018

10 Natural Ways to Recover from a Tough Workout

The intensity, exertion and sweat from a tough workout on a treadmill, elliptical or bike can prove exhilirating. But, the next day may prove something different. Muscles can ache and the body can be tense. That tough workout is now pointing out just how tough you really are. 

To help cure these issues, how many of us reach for some over-the-counter medication to ease our aches and pains the next day? I know I have.

Sometimes I feel guilty for popping the ibubrofen as a quick fix. I even feel somewhat concerned about what the long-term effects on my body may be from such medications. So, after a little research, I've compiled some of the best natural remedies to help cure the post-workout blues. 

Here's the top 10 list:

  1. Hydration:

    Water-and-Bottles2.jpgYes, this seems obvious, but many of us just don't know when to drink. Typically, we wait until we feel thirsty to drink water. Without proper hydration at the proper time, your muscles will become stiff and more likely primed for injury. Carry that giant bottle of water to work and focus on drinking a glass of water every hour (with a hardcore replenish after each workout).
  2. Lemon Towel:

    Lemons are a natural anti-inflammatory (and smell amazing too). Mix two tablespoons of honey with the juice from three lemons and microwave for 30 seconds. Dip a towel into the mixture and apply to sore areas to help your muscle recovery along.

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  3. Epsom Salts:

    Epsom salts may seem like an old-fashioned treatment, but the magnesium in it is truly a natural muscle relaxant. And, as a salt, it helps reduce tissue swelling. Dissolve one or two cups of Epsom salts into warm bath water and soak for 15 minutes. A perfect excuse to lounge in your tub.

  4. Ginger or Tumeric:

    Close up of different forms of ginger against a wood worktop.jpegGinger and turmeric are two powerful spices that have been used widely throughout history for both culinary and medical purposes. Ginger may help reduce muscle soreness and Tumeric may reduce inflammation. They can be taken as supplements or incorporated into your food diet as additional spice.

  5.    Tart Cherry Juice:

    Love this one! Tart cherry juice is rich in natural nutrients from Vitamins A, C, and K to magnesium, potassium and copper. This juice is known to not only help eash muscle pain but also strengthen your muscles. In addition, tart cherries contain melatonin which aid in sleep.

  6. Heat:

    Heat therapy increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to sore muscles while suppressing the pain signals being sent to your brain. Apply some form of heat – hot water bottle, heating pad, or a hot towel – to sore areas.

  7. Ice:

    And on the flip side ... ice is the best natural remedy to inflammation. It also acts as an anesthetic, essentially numbing the effected area and giving you a muscle recovery breather.

  8. Stretching:

    Portrait of a fitness man with foot pain over gray background.jpegThis takes some discipline. It's typically the last thing I want to do after a workout. But here’s the thing about muscle pain -- it  limits your movement, which ironically makes the pain even worse. Make sure to get your stretch on as often as possible – especially after sitting for extended periods of time or before an intense workout. Once you’ve incorporated more stretching into your day, muscle recovery will be a snap.

  9. More Exercise?:

    You know how they say the best thing you can do to cure a hangover is to drink what caused the hangover? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found the same is true for exercise: They compared the effects of massage or exercise to relieve muscle soreness, and found exercise to be just as effective.

  10. Rest:

    Again, on the flip side ... sometimes it's just best not to overdo it, especially after trying an intense workout. If you sense an injury coming on, rest! Listen to your body. In the end, it knows what's best and may be the most natural remedy for you.

Have any other natural remedies you like? Feel free to share them with us. In the meantime, all this reading is giving me a headache. Time to put a lemon towel on my head and take a dip into a warm bath of Epsom salts.