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What to do about your exercise hang-over

Posted by melaniefuller on August 2, 2015 at 6:30 PM

It's been 2 days since you did that really tough work-out, and now, you can't even sit on the toilet without grimmacing. What to do? Plop yourself on the couch and wait it out? Actually one of the best things you can do is keep moving! A walk, or some light cardio to keep your muscles warm and strecthing can be just the thing to help your body heal and repair. Muscles need oxygen rich blood delived to them to remove the lactic acid and toxins from inflammation out. Here are a few other helpful tips: 


1. Get a massage. Not too light, but not too deep either. Remember that your muscles are actually in a state of repair, so you don't want to break through the new fibers that have been laid down with deep massage. However, light swedish or tuina, can help them to flush and regenerate. Don't have the money to spend on massage? Try strectching and foam rolling it out yourself. 


2. Caffeine! You didn't think I was going to say that did you? Caffeine increases ciculation to peripheral blood vessels. Try a green tea or Puerh.... that way you can also get your antioxidants from the tea. Green tea is more cooling to your system than coffee.


3. Antioxidants. About those guys: they are anti-inflammatory. They protect our cells from free radical damage. Especially when we've gone beyond the point of a "good" sore by doing a lot of aenerobic work-out (intense exercise that requires more oxygen than our blood can pump to the muscles). Examples of things high in antioxidants: Blueberries, walnuts, cloves, green tea. Basically all fresh fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants. Glutamine is a supplement that might be helpful for exercise recovery as well. It is an amino acid that helps to rebuild musccle, and supports the immune system too. You can buy it at a health food store.


4. Take a tub! The hot water from either a bath or hot tub raises your core temp and increases heart rate. That means more blood flow to the surface of your body and to flush out toxins. If you have any swollen or especially inflammed parts of your body you may want to ice afterwards, as the heat may increase swelling. Also make sure you drink plenty of water with electrolytes! That brings me to number 5...


5. Drink water. Add some electrolytes to it: lemon or lime juice plus a tiny amount of trace-mineral-containing celtic sea or other colorful fancy salt.


6. Stretch. You know you need it. Sometimes we're just too lazy or it's too painful. But do it! Hold stretches for 30 seconds at least. One minute is ideal to allow the muscle fibers to fully relax and unwind. And don't just do your favorite ones. It's the most painful ones that you probably need most. Ease into them and breathe deeply. This is also a good time to pull our your foam roller and roll away the aches and pains. 

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3 Comments

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