8 Tips To Reduce Muscle Soreness

musclesoreness

Aching after a brutal workout? Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can make you feel the burn while your muscles recover and rebuild. But, if you take the right steps after your workout, you can go hard without paying the price. Here are 8 easy ways to prevent post-workout pain.

1. Stretch. Stretching is your first line of defense after a good workout. “When you train, you contract the muscles, and the muscle fibers get shorter,” says Steve Edwards, Head of Fitness and Nutrition Development at Beachbody®. “Lengthening them after a workout promotes mobility, and can lead to a more thorough recovery.” While fitness experts can’t seem to agree on this strategy1—one Australian study2 claimed that stretching had no impact on muscle soreness—it certainly won’t hurt, especially if your flexibility is limited.

2. Eat for rapid recovery. In a study on “nutrient timing,” researchers found that a postworkout drink with between a 3:1 to 5:1 carb-to-protein ratio reduced muscle damage and improved recovery times3. A tough workout depletes blood sugar, as well as the glycogen stored in your muscles. Restoring that supply within an hour of finishing your workout is your body’s top priority. P90X® Results and Recovery Formula® is optimized with the 4:1 ratio, but in a pinch, down a glass of grape juice with whey protein powder or a glass of chocolate milk. Denis Faye, Beachbody’s Nutrition Expert, explains. “When the sugar [from the drink] rushes into your muscles to restore that supply, the protein piggybacks to jump-start the recovery process.”

3. Ice it. Immediately after a tough workout, icing your muscles can stave off inflammation. “Inflammation is one of nature’s defense mechanisms, but it works like a cast—it immobilizes you,” Edwards says. “When you keep inflammation down, that area is free to keep moving, and movement promotes healing.” Like stretching, its effectiveness is up for debate—some researchers have claimed that ice is only effective for injuries and not for run-of-the-mill soreness4, but it’s a simple and safe option that many top-level athletes swear by5. “Unless you ice so long that you give yourself frostbite, there’s really no danger,” Edwards says. “It seems to really speed up healing without any adverse effects.”

4. Change your diet. “When your muscles are sore, inflammation is a huge part of the problem,” Faye says. To help reduce this inflammation, add foods that are rich in omega-3s—such as salmon, free-range meat, flax, avocado, and walnuts6—to your diet. The natural anti-inflammatory properties7 of these foods can help dial back the soreness after overexertion. Amino acid supplements can also help with muscle recovery after a high-intensity workout8.

5. Massage your sore spots. A recent study found that massage can reduce inflammatory compounds called cytokines9. One type of massage that’s gaining popularity is myofascial release, which targets the connective tissue covering the muscles. You can hit these areas yourself using a foam roller—put the roller on the floor, use your body weight to apply pressure, and roll back and forth over the sore areas for about 60 seconds. But . . . before you do, make sure you’re rehydrated and your heart rate is back to normal. “When your muscles are hot and loaded with lactic acid, you might make it worse,” Edwards says. For a more detailed tutorial on foam rolling, check out the Beachbody Tai Cheng® program.

6. Get heated. While ice can work wonders immediately after a workout, heat can help once your muscles have returned to their resting temperature10. “Heat increases circulation, especially focused heat in a jacuzzi, where you can hit areas like joints that don’t normally get a lot of circulation,” Edwards says. Just don’t jump in the hot tub immediately after a workout, because the heat can exacerbate inflammation, and the jets can pound your already-damaged muscles. Edwards cautions, “When your body heat is already high and you have a lot of muscle breakdown, sitting in a hot tub with the jets would be counterintuitive.”

7. Move it. You may be tempted to plant yourself on the couch until the pain subsides, but don’t skip your next workout. Circulation promotes healing, so it helps to get your heart pumping—just don’t overdo it. “Active recovery” is low-intensity exercise that gets your blood flowing without taxing your muscles. What qualifies as low-intensity? It depends on your typical workout. If you know your training zones, you can use a heart rate monitor. But, Edwards says, the easiest way to engage in active recovery is to exert around 50% of your max effort, and keep your heart rate below 140 bpm or so. Most Beachbody workout programs include a recovery workout, but if yours doesn’t, a gentle yoga class or going on an easy hike are good options.

8. Pop a painkiller—if you must. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can relieve pain, but many experts aren’t sure if they’re worth the risk. “A lot of athletes call it ‘Vitamin I,’” Edwards says. But he cautions that NSAIDs can cause nasty side effects and accelerate muscle breakdown. “The only time they might help is if you’re in so much pain that you can’t do low-level exercise—you can’t get off the couch,” Edwards says. In that case, meds might help, but be careful not to overdo it—because if you’re not feeling pain, you may push too hard and cause an injury.

Resources:
[1] http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20071017/stretching-wont-prevent-sore-muscles?page=2
[2] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071016195932.htm
[3] http://www.utexas.edu/features/archive/2004/nutrition.html
[4] http://www.upmc.com/Services/sports-medicine/newsletter/Pages/ice-after-exercise.aspx
[5] http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/20/really-the-claim-an-ice-bath-can-soothe-sore-muscles/
[6] http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-omega-3-health-benefits
[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187
[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300014
[9] http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/how-massage-heals-sore-muscles
[10] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/29108.php

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New Year New You

21 Day Fix challenge pack is ON SALE early for the New Years!!! And to show you how AMAZING this deal is, I wanted to compare to something somewhat similar out on the market. NO COMPARISON!!! Beachbody products deliver the most bang for your buck. You get nutrition, fitness, and support all in one! You can’t beat it!
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Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution

This year I’m asking you NOT to make a New Year’s resolution. You read that correctly–DON’T make a resolution. They don’t work. Plain and simple. Take a look at the definition of resolution:

Definition of resolution

See the inherent problem? It’s vague, it’s ambiguous, and there’s nothing to sink your teeth into. It’s just a decision, not a plan of action.

More than 70% of people who make resolutions don’t keep them, and more than 40% never even start! Things don’t magically change on January 1st. You don’t suddenly become a different person, one who can stick to a diet or exercise program, if you never have in the past.

That’s why this year, we’re asking you to skip the resolution, and make a #REALsolution.

Follow this simple 4-step process to create a #REALsolution that will set you up for success all year long.

Step 1:
Set a clear, attainable goal. Think of exactly what you want to achieve, and be specific. Instead of,” I want to lose weight,” decide that, “I will lose 10 pounds by April 5.” Instead of “I want to eat clean,” decide that, “I will eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day and I will try one new healthy recipe each week.”

Step 2:
Make a solid plan for achieving your goal. Choose a fitness program or nutrition plan to help you get there. Or, commit to using a program you already own and visit Beachbody’s YouTube channel for motivation and mini-workouts from Tony Horton and Autumn Calabrese.

Step 3:
Download this accountability contract. Sign it. Post it somewhere you will see it every day. Snap a photo of the contract and post it on Instagram. Make sure to tag #REALsolution and @beachbodyhq. We’ll pick 5 winners to win a program of your choice, one each week from December 26-February 1.

Step 4:
If you’re not already part of a Challenge Group, join our #REALsolution Challenge Group on Facebook where you can check in daily, get encouragement, and stay accountable.

When you’ve reached your goal, repeat this 4-step process again to continue to improve!

Here are examples of what your accountability contract might look like:

REALsolution contract using 21 Day Fix.

REALsolution contract for NYC marathon

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Gingerbread Granola

granola

This seasonal recipe for gingerbread granola is perfect if you want a little treat. It’s especially good on top of yogurt. Just 58 calories.

Total Time: 1 hr. 10 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 55 min.
Yield: 30 servings, 2 Tbsp. each

Ingredients:
2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup slivered almonds
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ cup molasses
3 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
2. Line baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Combine oats, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine molasses, oil, and applesauce in a small saucepan; cook, over low heat, stirring continuously, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until oil has melted.
5. Pour molasses mixture over oat mixture; mix until oats are evenly coated.
6. Place on prepared baking pan; spread evenly in a thin layer.
7. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, or until granola is light golden brown and crisp.
8. Cool granola completely (it will get more crisp as it cools).
9. Store in an airtight container.

I Help Change Lives

Another success story! I never tire of seeing these. I love when others start feeling good about themselves.

You do not have to start your journey alone, I can be your support through one of my private challenge groups! People with support and help find the most success!!! Let’s make 2015 YOUR year!

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