5 basic tips to overcome sore muscles
Cycling is a type of endurance training, so though the ride may be beautiful, enjoyable and thrilling, the aftermath of sore muscles sometimes is not. Though muscle aches post cycling can feel motivating, you don’t have to live through the pain.
Sometimes, having sore muscles means they have been overworked. Instead, you may increase the intensity and distance of the workout progressively (+ 10% each time) to reduce muscle soreness. That could also include increasing the power on your PAB when needed, so you do not push yourself too much and injure yourself!
Here are 5 easy ways to soothe sore muscles from cycling:
1. Warm up
Warming up prepares your muscles for the actual workout that happens while cycling. It also aids in circulation and relieves tension, bringing more oxygen to your muscles. When this happens, you are warming up on a cellular level, and the oxygen will metabolize lactic acid build up in your muscles.
2. Cool down
Immediately after exercising, it is important to cool down to restore your body and muscles back into their form. Though a simple habit, this will help ease tension and reduce soreness.
Certain foods and food groups are helpful in soothing sore muscles, and fighting inflammation. Something interesting I have learnt recently is tart cherry juice has been used by athletes for years to reduce recovery time after an intense routine! Cherries are a great source of antioxidants and phytochemicals.
In general, whole food like fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates with the right nutrients are key to ensuring you recover quickly post workout.
Yes! Sleep is one of the human body’s best ways to recover. During sleep, protein synthesis occurs. This is the process in which cells make proteins, meaning your muscles are being built, getting stronger! Getting sufficient sleep is key to building muscle. Having more hours if possible is great after a particularly intense workout.
5. Do light exercises
If you are feeling ok but your muscles are just feeling a little sore, it is ok to do light exercise. This form of exercise is called “Active Recovery”, and can include walking, swimming, stretching, and even easy, light cycling (low intensity and less distance).
Doing these light exercises are effective in:
Reducing lactic acid buildup in the muscles
Increasing blood flow to muscle tissue
Removing metabolic waste from the muscles
Reducing muscle tears and pain
Massage is an excellent way to recover from sore muscles and to reduce fatigue after exercising. You can even give yourself a leg massage after cycling, aiding in your relaxation and recovery towards a stronger you.