7 tips to manage pain before exercise
Sore muscles are good. They’re a sign of improvement; that you’ve pushed yourself physically — and mentally. It can also be a false roadblock.
However painful it may be, muscle soreness, typically shouldn’t prevent you from working out.
Why you’re sore
Muscles don’t get stronger without first breaking down. Working out causes muscle fibers to tear, as well as the commonly described “burning” sensation experienced while lifting weights. These tears can also lead to “delayed onset muscle soreness,” or DOMS.
Of course, there’s good soreness and bad soreness, and even too much soreness. Assessing any discomfort is important. Good soreness tends to be dull and spread out throughout the worked muscle. In contrast, sharp pains could be signs of injury. In general, working out a body part that’s experiencing sharp pain is inadvisable.
Typically, as your body becomes accustomed to your exercise habits, daily stiff and sore muscles tend to fade away — but even elite athletes get sore from time to time.
Getting your muscles ready to work out again
You’re tender and stiff two days after your first workout, it’s still painful to get around — so what? If you don’t keep working out, all that pain, time, sweat, and pushing was for nothing. Muscle soreness is no excuse for skipping a workout. The good news is, there are ways to mitigate the pain.
- Pre-workout caffeine. Caffeine is known to have a pain-killing effect that may extend to DOMS. While dosages depend on an individual’s tolerance for caffeine, the equivalent of two cups of coffee, approximately one hour before a workout, can help loosen muscles and prevent soreness.
- Ease into it. Stretching and mild calisthenics can help warm up sore muscles. A post-workout cooldown employing similar exercises may also reduce muscle soreness.
- Tart cherries. Anthocyanins are thought to reduce inflammation, and tart cherries are loaded with them. Consuming such cherries — or their juice — a couple times a week can improve muscle repair times, and decrease soreness.
- Resting isn’t lazy. It’s important to give your muscle fibers at least 24 hours between workouts to rebuild.
- Your muscles need sleep. Muscles do most of their recovering while we sleep. Not allowing yourself enough sleep can prolong soreness, and deteriorate the results of your efforts.
- CopperGel. Applying CopperGel to sore muscles before a workout can help get them ready to move again. Our roll-on pain reliever contains camphor and menthol, and both are excellent methods of relieving muscle pain.
- Supplements. Creatine and omega-3 fatty acids can keep your muscles feeling fresh, and speed up recovery periods. Creatine promotes the synthesis of proteins necessary for muscle growth. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, thereby capable of alleviating the pain and stiffness associated with strenuous exercise.
Camphor and menthol: topical magic
Each person handles muscle soreness in their own way — the way that’s best for their body. Sometimes that takes a bit of trial and error. Understanding why a specific method works is a great way to start exploring your options.
When it comes to topical treatments, menthol and camphor are excellent, natural, pain-fighting agents. To find out why they’re so special, check out our blog, “What Makes Menthol and Camphor Such Great Natural Pain Relievers.”
CopperGel is clinically proven to relieve joint, muscle, and arthritis pain. Plus, this roll-on lets you focus on just the areas that hurt. Questions or concerns? Please get in touch. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or just fill out our online contact form.