Question: I have a couple questions you may be able to help with. I used to ride my bike a lot and it would take a few rides before my legs got used to it and I built-up endurance. Now, I never seem to get there, and my legs always feel like rubber when I ride. Is there some vitamin or food that I might not be getting enough of? That’s my gut feeling. I eat extremely healthy except for the beer. I eat no junk food and eat mostly what I grow myself. Sandra has told me that she eventually stopped hurting after our workouts, but I have not reached that point. Will I? Yesterday I was absolutely zonked afterwards! We were working on installing a floor and I could barely get up and down to help! I’m a little discouraged I think. I am happy with the change in my muscle tone and blame the beer for my tummy staying, but I’d like to have more endurance and less aches and pains. Any suggestions?
Answer: First and foremost, your body has gone through an amazing transformation in the past couple months. Your endurance during class has increased exponentially, and your body shape is showing all your hard work – so well done! Please don’t be discouraged at this point – you should be very proud of what you’ve done. I’m glad you’ve touched base with me because maybe I can help you work through it.
Secondly, I would like to clarify that there is a difference between muscle soreness and actual pain. If you are experiencing any joint pain, this is something you need to be conscientious of, so be sure to stretch a lot to ensure your joints are not being pulled on by your tight muscles. If it continues, and more importantly, if it gets worse, please seek medical advice. If you know this is muscle soreness you’re experiencing as a result of our hard workouts, here are some things you can do help relieve some of the discomfort:
- Epsom Salt Baths: The magnesium in the salts help to muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. Have these at night time before bed – what a way to relax before you start to nod off! Your body can recover over night while you sleep.
- Cold Showers: When our muscles are sore it can be because our bodies are inflamed. While our bodies are recovering from our workouts and re-building the tissue breakdown, they can become naturally inflamed. This is not a bad thing…it’s just the way our bodies cope and protect itself. Having a cold shower immediately after our workouts can help to alleviate some of this discomfort you’re experiencing.
- Magnesium Citrate: Magnesium is an element our bodies need that often goes un-noticed. Just like the benefits the epsom salt baths provide, so does actually consuming magnesium citrate. It is a natural muscle relaxant, and can have many health benefits beyond the help it provides you with from muscle soreness. Consult your physicial before taking lots of this – too much of a good thing here can cause you to be making one too many trips to the bathroom. Yup, it relaxes your muscles that much! I would start with 300mg to see how your body reacts.
- Consume appropriate pre and post workout meals. Muscle soreness if often the result of the muscle breakdown that happens during our workouts – our bodies need the right amount of protein and carbohydrates to properly repair this breakdown. If you’re not feeding your body with these nutrients, it can take you longer to recover, so you’ll experience more muscle soreness than you would if you fed the muscles immediately after with the perfect combination of proteins and carbohydrates. Here’s a blog I wrote for pre and post workout meals to give you some ideas https://royallyfit.ca/what-to-eat-before-and-after-workouts/
Focus on these things for now – they may just help you out! Do remember that every single person is different with how their body reacts to working out, so if you give these suggestions a try and you’re still experiencing a lot of discomfort, than maybe it’s wise to try a different form of exercise that isn’t so intense. Listen to your body – it talks.
Now go enjoy an epsom salt bath with a beer in hand!