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Easing muscle pain through low impact exercises

Muscle pain. It’s your body’s warning sign that something isn’t quite right, and often one of the first things people do is to skip exercising. Many people are under the illusion that exercise is not suitable for those dealing with pain. As tempting as it is to sit on the sofa and miss a training session, you’ll end up doing more damage than good because you will seize up from the lack of movement.

The issue hasn’t occurred because of the training; it will be through the type or intensity of the physical activity you are choosing to do. Microscopic tears in the muscle, or a breakdown in the tissue, are the likely causes of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after a workout.

This is naturally experienced for a couple of days when introducing a new challenge within your usual workout regime. It is a sign that the sore muscles are in the process of healing and growing strength, so the recommendation is to avoid stressing them even further with more intensity, but don’t stop exercise altogether.

A light workout can help offer temporary relief to the discomforting stiffness as you warm the muscles to increase healing blood flow to the tissue. No matter your age, or fitness levels, gentle active recovery can really assist the stretching out of the sore muscles and of course maintain an overall positive mindset. The goal is to begin gradually and move towards moderate intensity, allowing the muscles time to adapt to the movements and heal.

If you feel you can approach a lighter workout, here are some suggestions to try:

Walking

Putting one foot in front of the other increases blood flow, helps those sore muscles feel a little less sore and contributes to a reduction in stiffness. Whether you choose to walk on the treadmill or in the great outdoors, walking is a great way to help relieve stress and improve your overall mood.

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Use your bodyweight

Simply putting down the weights and using your own bodyweight is a great way to once again increase blood flow to help with muscle soreness. Simple exercises like planks, lunges and push-ups are wonderful for stretching out those fatigued muscles.

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Swimming

Swimming and other aquatic exercises are great for strengthening core muscles. It is great for cardio, getting your heart pumping and is low impact, meaning your body, thanks to the buoyancy of the water, will not be put through its paces.

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Stretch, stretch, stretch

Stretching through exercises such as Yoga or Pilates increases blood flow to the muscles to relieve stiffness, lengthening the muscles and improving your flexibility. Simply practice a sequence of gentle and precise movements, and you will notice the inflammation reduce and pain ease.

Non-physical treatments

Of course, you can’t be active all the time. So, in the interim, use a heat pad or have a warm bath to help ease the discomfort. For those feeling mighty brave then ice is wonderful for reducing the swelling of the muscles. There are also some fantastic massage gels/creams available such as Pernaton Gel Forte to help soothe muscle soreness.

And remember…pain rarely goes away overnight. If it continues or you believe you have a genuine injury, then please consult your doctor.

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