Sore, tired, strained and overworked muscles don’t need to cause the pain they used to.
With the warm weather comes more time spent outdoors, more activities, and more reports of tired, aching and sore muscles. The good news is, you don’t have to let them slow you down, and you don’t have to take a bunch of pain relievers either. Here are 5 natural ways to soothe your muscles.
1. Epsom Salts. Soaking in a warm bath that has about two handfuls of Epsom salts for 15-20 minutes helps the muscles to relax as well as reduces swelling. This is mainly due to the magnesium sulfate, which unlike other minerals is absorbed through the skin as you soak in the bath. An Epsom salt bath helps relax skeletal muscles by flushing lactic acid that builds up during physical exertion as well as reducing swelling and regulating muscle and nerve function; making you feel less stiff and sore. Not to mention the warm water will loosen up those muscles and improve circulation.
2. Stretching. When muscles are in recovery mode, they tighten up and exacerbate the feelings of soreness. Slow, gentle stretching of the area will relieve the tight feeling you are experiencing, ease discomfort and break the cycle that goes from soreness to muscle spasm to contraction and tightness.
3. Keep Moving. Although it may be uncomfortable, or even slightly painful, you need to keep moving to keep your muscles loose. Walking and swimming are great for recovery because they keep your muscles in motion (preventing them from tightening up) and therefore providing some relief.
4. Muscle Balm. Designed to work deep into the muscles to relieve tension, reduce soreness and heal injuries,
Nature’s Aid natural muscle balm provides quick, soothing relief. Formulated using natural and organic ingredients as well as essential oils, all specifically selected for their multi-functional benefits, our muscle balm works in several ways; by providing pain relief, increasing blood circulation around the affected muscle, and penetrating deep within the tissue to stimulate the recovery process. With a unique rub-on applicator applying the muscle balm is easy and mess-free, and can be used for everything from general muscle aches and joint pain, to arthritis, rheumatic pain, pulled muscles and sprains.
5. Cherry Juice. An endurance superfood, tart cherries contain nutrients that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, and cherry juice has a much higher concentration of these anti-inflammatory nutrients. Studies have found that regular consumption of tart cherry juice can accelerate recovery by reducing muscle pain. For optimal results be pre-emptive and drink the cherry juice before that big hike, game or race to help prevent any muscle damage that occurs during the exercise.
If you are experiencing general soreness, also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS), it may have been caused by a number of reasons including exercise, injury, overuse, blood flow problems, lack of minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium), and dehydration. The above tips are meant to help with recovery but prevention is key too. So remember to stay hydrated, eat right and get plenty of rest to help thwart any damage or injuries that may occur during physical activity.