How to Make Your Muscles Quit Aching After Starting a New Workout Plan

Putting ice on sore muscles can help prevent swelling.

Putting ice on sore muscles can help prevent swelling.

Some muscle soreness after starting a new exercise plan is to be expected, but that doesn't mean it's fun to walk like a penguin because your legs ache. University of Maryland kinesiology professor Stephen M. Roth explained to Scientific American that the production of lactate, a byproduct of strenuous exercise, is partially to blame for the soreness you feel. Fortunately, simple home remedies can help prevent or relieve post-workout soreness in newbies.

Ice your sore muscles. Olympic athletes know that soaking their feet, ankles and calves after a workout can prevent swelling and soreness. You don't need to hold your leg in a bucket of ice, though. A bag of frozen vegetables or a freezer bag full of ice wrapped in a towel can provide the same relief with less shock.

Get a massage. Even a 10-minute session can help, though of course you'll probably want more. Try Swedish or sports massage for maximum relief.

Eat anti-inflammatory foods such as blueberries, tart cherries, pomegranate seeds and ginger, which are full of free radicals that may help prevent or relieve soreness. As an alternative, drink 1 oz. of concentrated tart cherry juice after your workout.

Work out again. You don't have to do anything strenuous, but even a brisk walk warms and soothes your muscles.

See a doctor if you suspect injury. Sore muscles are one thing, but downright painful muscles are another. If the pain lasts for more than a few days or is accompanied by swelling that doesn't go down, you could be injured and should seek medical attention.

Items you will need

  • Ice pack
 

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

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