The other day, I was at the gym, doing my thing-pushing myself to be a little better than the last time while shamelessly admiring the progress I was noticing in the mirror. I was feeling good … until I wasn’t. All that #beastmode power evaporated the next day when I woke up feeling like the scene in The Wolf of Wall Street when Leo becomes incapacitated from quaaludes. I could barely lift my arms to pull a shirt over my head, my ass was tender and my calves felt like rocks lodged underneath my skin. We’ve all been there, right? Crushed a tough workout only to be rewarded with stiff, aching muscles afterwards.
Of course, pain is a natural result of exercise. It’s known as “delayed onset muscle soreness,” and a sign that your muscles are rebuilding. Which is just what you want them to do. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t uncomfortable. And believe it or not, the jury is out on whether common pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil provide much help. Medical studies have shown that chronic use of acetaminophen or “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” may actually inhibit muscle growth, though they’re certainly okay to use occasionally.
Unlike professional athletes, we don’t have an on-call massage therapist or a buffet of high-tech recovery equipment like cryotherapy chambers to help relieve our aches and pains. Fortunately, there are some simple and inexpensive solutions you can try in the comfort of your home the next time you get a little too ambitious at the gym.
Whether you’re suffering from aching joints, muscle tension or even swelling and inflammation, a top-rate muscle rub (or balm or cream) is guaranteed to provide near instant relief to that nagging stiffness. Whether you prefer heat or cold, or are simply looking to lessen pain, choose the one right for you and keep one on hand.
When your muscles are tight and sore, a lot of that discomfort occurs when our muscles (along with the connective tissue known as fascia) gets knotted. Multiple studies have proven that rolling your muscles out with a foam roller substantially reduces muscle soreness while improving range of motion.
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