It can be good to be a little sore after an exercise session––it feels like you’ve done something to take your body to a new positive place. But it’s no fun to be too sore. It means you’ve set off an inflammatory response. Sometimes it means you’ve overdone, so it’s a good reminder to pay closer attention to your body during an activity. And other factors can be the underlying cause of soreness, such as diet, medication, lack of hydration, or health issues such as thyroid imbalance, Lyme disease, or fibromyalgia. But no matter the cause, there are lots of ways to help prevent and alleviate soreness. I suggest you try a few at a time to see what works best for you, and begin to integrate them into your regular routines. Too much change at a time can create as much imbalance as no change. Small changes introduced over time can make a big difference.
~Make sure you’re well-hydrated before exercise, and after. For more on how much water and the right kinds, see Water 101, also on this website.
~Warm up your body before exercise––by taking a shower or a bath, or doing some warm up exercises that feel right for you. If you’re in a phase where you’re easily sore, try taking a warm shower before and after exercise, followed by a cool rinse or cold packs (see below). Treat yourself like a Queen, and you’ll soon feel like one!
~Evolve your diet to be more anti-inflammatory. I am certain there is no one diet that is right for all people. We all have such unique body chemistry, ancestry, and personal history that determines what is the optimal diet for each of us. But do some research to see what recommendations make sense to you, and try a making a few changes at a time.
~Avoid nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers). These vegetables contain a substance called solanines that irritate the joints (a cause of arthritis). You don’t have to give them up forever, but it’s good to eliminate them all for at least 2 weeks to see what difference it makes. I’ve had great personal success with this.
~Drink unsweetened black cherry juice. Black cherries and tart cherries contain anthocyanins, which flush out acids in the joints (as above). Add 1 or 2 oz. of the concentrate to 8 oz. of filtered water, once or twice a day. Don’t overdo, though.
~Daily movement––”Motion is Lotion!” Walking, gentle stretching, dancing, swimming, yoga, foam rolling . . . you find the combination of activities that work for you and weave them all into your daily routines. It’s good to have some variety.
~BSV bath––Warm soak w/ ½ C, Baking Soda/1/4 C. Vinegar for 20 minutes, followed by a cool rinse. This is wonderful for sore muscles, or at the first sign you’re coming down with something. Also nice to rest for 10 minutes after with the legs elevated. Organic white distilled or apple cider vinegar is best–not the kind you’d use to clean with.
~Cold gel packs––good to keep in the freezer to apply to those sore areas that come up. Use alone, or after a warm soak. Always use heat first, then cold, and no more than 10 minutes for the cold pack at a time.
~If taking medications, research them for possible side effects and consider natural alternatives if that’s a possibility for you.
~Look for supplements that strengthen collagen. Vitamin C is one, bone broth is another. Please research for others.
I’m happy to know you’re on your way to having a happier body!