Recovery: Tear and Repair, Heal and Reveal

You know the feeling. You pushed yourself in your workout, worked muscles to the point where every movement after brings an ache, that delicious (or not) pain of muscles rebuilding. When you push your muscles in a hard workout you are creating micr0-tears in  muscle tissues. The tissue rebuilds to respond to the new stimulus. That in-between state, that ache, is part of the tear and repair process, the healing that brings forth stronger muscles.

If you’re feeling the aches here are a few ways to alleviate them:

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1. Rest.  You earned that nap or early bedtime. Sleep is the great healer, drift off into dreams while your brilliant body heals itself. (Aside: We live in a sleep derived society, always pushing ourselves toward and often past our limits. Insufficient sleep can lead to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety and decreased motor skills.)

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2. Hydration and Nutrition. Your body needs the right combination of carbs, proteins and fats to recover. Make an appointment with Oscar to discuss your personal nutrition needs. The rebuilding in between workouts is what add value to the great work you’re doing at GFit.

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3. Take a bath! Sore muscles love warm water. Add a cup of Epsom Salts. Epsom salts are not actually salts but a natural chemical compound of sulfate and magnesium, both are easily absorbed through the skin and help relax tight or tense muscles. Added benefit: your skin will be softer after bathing with epsom salts. Put on some relaxing music, and let yourself be taken away.

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4. Take something for the pain. You can take an NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like Advil or Alleve to reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort. There are other options as well. If you’re into homeopathy, Arnica Montana is said to do the same without the harsh side effects that NSAIDs can have on the stomach lining and liver. Supplements may also help. A Calcium Magnesium powder, for instance, mixed in water before bed does double duty; it relaxes your muscles and helps you sleep. Talk to your doctor before taking anything for muscle pain, especially if you’re on any other type of medication.

There are a myriad of ways to help your body recover. Though it’s important to be aware if soreness turns into an ache or remains constant after doing the above, know that  some pain is a part of the process. You’re creating a healthier you and sometimes it will hurt a little. It’s worth it.

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