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Tips to avoid stiffness after the gym

Okay, now that you’ve managed to overcome all the excuses you normally make for not going to the gym, you’ve discovered one of the sport’s greatest enemies: shoelaces! Do not worry, we give you some tricks to prevent them and, if you have them, how you will be able to alleviate them.

First of all, you should know that muscle pain that appears after working a muscle that is not used is normal and affects both amateur athletes and professionals who may not have that part of the body so well trained. Who has not ever had sore legs? We have asked the body for an effort to which it is not used and it responds like this. It has nothing to do with having trained well (some mistakenly think that if you don’t have stiffness after playing sports it is because you have not exercised your muscles well) or with having done it wrong. Zero dramas!

Keep in mind that it is a pain with delayed effect: do not go upstairs when you leave the gym fresh as a rose thinking that you are not going to have them because they usually appear between 12 and 24 hours after training.

How long do the sore muscles last?

Don’t worry, that pain that you can have even at rest is not forever. It will depend on the reaction of your own body, but it can last from a few hours to a couple or three days. What you should be alert to and know how to distinguish if that discomfort is stiffness or if you have it because of a possible injury, which will require treatment and medical supervision.

Where do the sore muscles appear first?

You may think that soreness appears earlier in the abdomen, thighs, calves, or arms, but the truth is that there is no fixed rule: soreness appears earlier in those muscle groups that are less trained. For example, a cyclist who one day decides to do weights will probably feel sore in the arms, since he is not used to working in that area, while after his usual session on wheels he will not feel any type of sore pain in the thighs.

Actually avoiding stiffness is practically impossible, but you can follow these tips to prevent annoying twinges and alleviate them when they occur without warning:

A good warm-up before anything else

Even the most pro athletes do a warm-up session beforehand to prepare before starting the activity. The muscles and joints that you are going to exercise need to get into the subject little by little so that they understand what awaits them. For this reason and to avoid stiffness later, it is essential not to start until we have warmed up.

A physical trainer or trainer will tell you in the gym which series of warm-up exercises are the most appropriate depending on what you are going to do since in each sport you work different muscles.

Little by little and more every day!

If you have just started in the gym world, you must start gradually and in a moderate way. The intensity of sports activity can increase day by day, as you feel prepared and fitter. In this way, you will not over-exert your body and you will get used to it so that you will be able to try new things and put into practice the: “even more difficult!”.

One of the most frequent mistakes and that most lead us to have stiffness after playing sports are not stretching the muscles well. Both before (during the warm-up session) and after (once the physical activity is finished) you should stretch the muscles involved in the exercise. It is one of the most important points to prevent or reduce shoelaces.

Drink water and more water

Maintaining good hydration before, during, and after exercising is super important for the benefit of muscle recovery, also preventing you from having cramps or other injuries. The water we lose when we do sports in the form of sweat favors muscle weakness.

For this reason, in your kit to go to the gym like a true fitness lover never forget your bottle of water, which you can fill in the fountains in the gym facilities. Who knows? In the queues that form to drink water or fill the bottle, you can meet your new crush!

Tip to remove soreness

Take care of your diet. Usually, when we leave the gym we feel a voracious hunger and we would eat that croissant from the bakery on the corner that calls us insistently. Resist! First, because you must bet on a healthy, rich, varied, and processed-free diet. Second, because since you have burned calories in the gym, it would not be a matter of recovering them all with a simple bite.

And third, because after doing sports it is important to replenish muscle glycogen with foods rich in carbohydrates, as well as essential amino acids.

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Shawna Anderson

Bsc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the Complutense University of Madrid. I love writing about nutrition and health and related topics. I have written for some famous newspapers and magazines for the last 6 years.

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