How To Help Sore Muscles While The Spa is Closed
Chances are you spend several hours a day hunched over a screen—no judgment, we’re right there with you. And, to compensate for being sedentary, you might go extra hard working out. Add stress (a pandemic would certainly be included in that), poor sleep, and you’ve got a cocktail guaranteed to make your muscles tense up and tighten.
At the end of the day, you’re left with aches and pains that take a toll on your overall wellbeing, impairing your ability to feel comfortable in your body. Especially right now, it’s important to understand where muscle pain is coming from in order to treat it. Is it activity? A mental or emotional strain? Each can cause your muscles to become tight, which leads to soreness.
Relieving muscle soreness is not only a must to reboot your mood, it’s something you can take charge of yourself, restoring a sense of control over your body. You don’t need a massage therapist to target sore muscles; these remedies require simple lifestyle shifts and at-home practices. Ahead, we’ve compiled advice to help get rid of sore muscles while helping you unwind, find some sweet relief, and ultimately, tap into your zen!
- Stay Hydrated
One of the most essential things you can do to get rid of sore muscles is stay hydrated. Not only will this help lubricate the joints, proper hydration will speed up recovery and help calm inflammation. Try making an electrolyte beverage during the day with a splash of pink salt and a squeeze of lemon and aim for drinking half your body weight in ounces of water after that. Think of it as a personal health challenge!
- Try a Split Workout Routine
If you’re exercising regularly, it’s important to find a workout split to allow for sufficient recovery time between sweat sessions. You need to give your muscles time to recover between workouts, so ideally, to have them working at an optimal capacity, we want to wait two to three days before working the same muscle group. If you’re still finding you’re going into every workout feeling sore, it could be a sign you are not taking proper steps for recovery. This could mean you’re neglecting stretching, not getting adequate nutrition, or overtraining.
Stretch before and after working out. This is something so overlooked and can really help to minimize aches and pains.
In particular, aim to stretch out the front and back of the hips and calves. This helps relieve muscle tenderness as do stretches to keep hamstrings limber. Hold all stretches for at least thirty seconds too. If a certain group of muscles is sore, work that area more gently that day, but still keep moving to reduce the lactic acid build up.
- Use a Foam Roller for Myofascial Release
Self-myofascial release, a form of self-massage using a foam roller, is a game changer when it comes to relieving muscular tension. After each workout, set aside 10 to 15 minutes to stretch and roll out your muscles using a foam roller. It’s suggested that you program it into your workout, so you don’t neglect it.
Rolling out just a few times a week can make a difference in opening up your muscles. But feel free to roll out every day. You want to roll slowly, pausing when you hit a tender spot and breathing for a few seconds as you hold and apply pressure to the sore spot.
- Soak in a Warm Bath
A bath is another favorite way to unwind after a long day of either being on your feet or sitting for long stretches of time. Add two cups of epsom salt in. The salts give your body a high level of magnesium, which can be absorbed easily through the skin. That helps muscles relax.
- Practice Acupressure
One of the best ways to alleviate sore muscles is by increasing blood circulation through acupressure. But you don’t need to go to the spa to reap the benefits of this healing modality—in fact, you can practice this healing art on yourself. Chinese Medicine looks at sore muscles as a result of blood and energy stuck in areas of the body. Learning gua sha and cupping techniques at home is also very beneficial.
Incorporate acupressure techniques into your post-shower rubdown. Apply a two-finger grip below the area and squeeze until you have a feeling of a ‘good hurt’. Do not get to the point of bad pain. Squeeze for 20 seconds and release, then go to the area above the pain and hold again for 20 seconds.
Once you’ve worked through the pressure points, be sure to follow with gentle massage. You should feel a level of relaxation because of the focused blood flow.
- Apply Heat
If you’re wondering whether to add cold or heat to sore muscles, definitely go with heat. Heat helps move blood whereas cold constricts the area of blood flow. Blood itself brings all the healing chemicals to the area to relieve pain. At first, heat may make the area hurt more, but after a few minutes you should feel a release.
Topical products can offer heating properties to tense muscles, and often contain camphor, a warming analgesic and anesthetic used to relieve pain. If you apply post-bath, Hoyt advises you to wait until your skin cools to avoid irritation.
- Rub Your Feet
Not only do your feet contain thousands of nerve endings, they are made up of 52 bones, one quarter of all the bones in your body. The muscles and tendons in your feet serve as connective tissue to your limbs, and when your feet are achy and sore, so is the rest of your body.
A foot rub can help focus realignment, but more than that, it’s something you can do for yourself that feels divine.
We all want life to return to normal, but until then, these are 7 great ways to help with sore muscles until Botanica Day Spa is open again and can offer you our amazing massages again.
Hang in there, we’ll see you soon!