Going to the gym for the first time is intimidating for most people, but going back to the gym is a whole different challenge. Many beginners quit after just one session. The reason is simple: post-workout pain.
However, this is manageable if you approach your workout sessions with proper preparation. Don’t let the soreness deter you. The undeniable fact is that every success only comes with hard work and a strong determination. While soreness is unavoidable to some people, there are certain ways to make it more manageable. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Take your Time with Stretches
Many beginners are so excited about their new workout resolution that they forget about the most important part of the work out: stretching.
If you jump into your workout routine without a warm-up period, you will definitely have to pay for it the next day. Instead, get your muscles warm up and ready with a throughout stretch. You can also do a quick, light jog to get energized. Before you leave the gym, don’t forget to do another stretch.
2. Don’t Push yourself Too Hard at the Beginning
The first day is always the cruelest. If you just get started or haven’t worked out in a while, it is a good idea to ease yourself in the routine. Don’t get overboard and try to torture yourself on the very first day. Remember, success doesn’t come overnight. Soreness, however, is almost instant. So take it easy at first. Once you get used to it, there are plenty of chances to push yourself to the limit.
3. Take Care of your Muscles Afterward
Sometimes you can do all the prep work and stretching, and it still hurts the next day. If you find the pain too uncomfortable, there are certain things you can do to alleviate the pain. Some people prefer a hot bath, others swear by an icepack. Worse come to worst, you can also take some over-the-counter painkiller. Just remember not to overuse the painkiller.
4. Don’t Stay Sedentary
It is tempted to sit around when you’re in pain. However, not only it doesn’t help, it can actually stiffen your muscles and hence, make the soreness last longer.
The best way to deal with soreness is to keep move around. Don’t jump into another grueling exercise either. Your body will most appreciate a light walk. This is to get your mind off the pain, and to get your blood circulation up.
Next time you have to deal with post-workout pain, remember these tips and see if any of them work. Even if they don’t work for you, don’t give up on your journey. Remember, the pain is a testament to your hardwork and effort!