It’s a fact of the game: if you’re training, you’re going to get sore.
And, if you’ve been training for a while, the probability also exists that eventually, you’re going to experience a mild injury, like a pulled muscle.
So … what do you do when you’re experiencing intense soreness, stiffness, pain, or inflammation, aside from wait it out?
Luckily, there are quite a few effective ways to speed up your recovery.
How To Beat Soreness and Inflammation
While trying out even one of these tips can help make a difference in soreness, stiffness, and inflammation levels, it helps even more to try out a few at a time (I sure have!).
This one might seem obvious, but sometimes we’re tempted to take some supplements and keep pushing through the pain. While this seems noble, I can assure you: there is no recovery without rest.
Now, does this mean you should vegetate in bed for weeks? Hardly. It simply means that if you’re uber-sore or in pain, halt your workouts for a week and only perform some slow, restorative movements, like walking and light yoga or Qi Gong.
When it comes to sleep, be sure that you’re getting deep rest by knocking out ALL light in your room, no matter how small. Our bodies enter recovery mode when we sleep, and even the tiniest amount of light can disrupt our melatonin production and move us out of a deep sleep.
2. Epsom Salts + Magnesium
When it comes to soreness, magnesium is one of your best friends. Studies have shown that just one week of supplementing with magnesium can reduce soreness levels and markers of inflammation. [*] Epsom salts are a great way to absorb magnesium topically through your pores (plus get in a nice hot soak), which studies have also shown may be a more effective form of absorption.
If you find you’re constantly experiencing soreness, limited recovery, and even trouble sleeping, and your diet includes plenty of protein and clean foods, try supplementing with magnesium, as it play a large role in muscle contractions and easing your nervous system.
3. Stretching and Mobility Work
Stiffness can exacerbate soreness; and ironically, can also make you more prone to general injuries. When we lack flexibility and mobility, our muscles shorten and our joints and tendons can become stiff … making them more likely to “break” than bend when under pressure.
So, if you are experiencing soreness or recovering from an injury and you haven’t been getting in much mobility work, now is the time to develop a consistent habit. While you’re recovering, light stretching can help improve circulation, which removes waste products from the area, while providing more fresh, nutrient-rich blood to assist with healing.
Try these stretches to get things moving, but remember: go lightly and softly. Try not to overstretch a tender area, and don’t push anything to the point of pain: Stretches To Help Recover From Training.
4. Infrared Sauna
Infrared sauna sessions are an awesome investment to help boost recovery. The infrared light spectrum utilized in these saunas penetrates several layers deep into your tissues (but don’t worry, you don’t feel a thang!) to promote healing at a cellular level, while also significantly increasing circulation and detoxification. Studies have shown that the infrared light spectrum has the ability to boost collagen synthesis (which is what skin and tissues are made out of), which may be one of the reasons behind its ability to assist in wound healing.
5. Cold Plunges
I know: the thought of sliding in to ice cold water isn’t the most appealing thing in the world. However, there is no doubting the power of cold plunging when it comes to combating soreness. Have you ever iced an injury? This is pretty much the same concept, except we’re talking full-body and colder. Studies have shown that cold water immersions can reduce muscle pain, and even reduce the perceived rate of muscle fatigue during your next workout.
One thing you really want to make sure is on point if you’re recovering from heavy soreness and inflammation is your diet. If you’ve been dieting very strictly for a while or limiting carbs, try adding in a few more clean carbs sources, like sweet potatoes and berries, as well as slightly upping your clean protein intake. Food contains the compounds that repair and build our bodies, so getting enough of them is crucial to speeding along recovery.
You can also try adding ginger and turmeric to your diet, either fresh in teas or as supplements, due to their potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, any type of recovery is going to involve a bit of R&R … but it is possible to improve and speed up that recovery with a few additions to your regime.
Gear up and save for your return to training with my bundle packages: