http://www.kellyskindergarten.com/PowerPoints/images/Stretching%5B1%5D.gifI'm writing this article because I took an ice bath for the first time in 4 years and after taking it I thought I would do some research to find out how beneficial the ice bath is. The results were nothing like I expected since I expected them to say that ice baths are awesome and will aid in preventing muscle soreness, but the results were rather inconclusive. The most common conclusion seemed to be don't use them often, and if they work for you use them. If not why put yourself through that.
So since the results were nothing like I expected I decided that it would be worth my time to find out some other methods of preventing muscle soreness after a hard workout.
Here's what I found
- Active recovery. Ok so this one doesn't exactly prevent muscle soreness, but it assists in muscle repair, which prevents injuries and minimizes the amount of time your muscles are sore. This is where you do a light workout that just gets the heart pumping. It may be more beneficial to your body than taking a day off.
- Finishing your workout with a cooldown. I have so much experience with this one. If I don't do some kind of gradual decrease in intensity and heart rate then I may be tight and sore within one to two hours time of doing the workout. Of course this is also relative to the consistency of your workouts.
- Getting a massage. So I have never been to a professional, but my sister learned really quickly how to give calf massages after I started running college. It seemed to be the only thing to take the pain away. With that being said I have also heard from one of my coaches that after a massage it is a good idea to ice because the massage will have caused muscle swelling and you will want to reduce the swelling. However as far as I have looked I haven't read that in any of the articles I've looked at.
- Post workout snack, I actually first read about this earlier this week from a blog that I am really starting to enjoy, but this is one that you will always hear about, and your going to hear it from me too. The post workout meal is supposed to help restore the nutrients that were lost during the workout. The common consensus is to have a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protien. This will be sure to help.
Also stay tuned I will be posting part 2 of the becoming a fitness champ later this week.