(BPT) - With gorgeous weather and longer days, we are all motivated to head outdoors and increase physical activity during the summer! Bright sunny days can stimulate our energy and help shed the urge to hibernate. However, before you take up a recreational sport, get back into jogging or swim a few laps, take stock of your fitness.
If you haven't been active during winter, it's important to gradually ease into summer sports. Going too hard too fast can leave you feeling sore, keeping you from doing the activities you love.
While it isn't possible to eliminate soreness entirely, you can plan ahead to minimize and combat discomfort after a workout. Try out these five methods that can help relieve muscle pain so you won't have to sit on the bench this summer.
1. Start low and slow
While you may have grand aspirations, be realistic about your fitness goals, especially if it's been a while since you've been active. Ease into your summer sports and activities by starting out with low-intensity activities like walking, hiking, swimming or cycling. These activities allow your body to adapt and condition your muscles so you can gradually increase the intensity and length of your workouts while reducing soreness.
2. Don't skip warmups and cooldowns
As part of your pre-activity routine, get into the habit of warming up your body. While you want to get on the field or hit the trail as soon as possible, a quick warmup and stretch can help you have a better workout, prevent injury and avoid soreness.
A warmup doesn't have to be complex or time-consuming. You can do dynamic stretches like leg swings or arm circles to increase blood flow and loosen up your joints.
Don't forget to stretch after your workout too. A cooldown can help relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility. Make sure to focus on the muscles you worked on during your exercise to alleviate post-workout pain.
You can't avoid all sports pain, so it's smart to have pain relief products that contain acetaminophen and/or aspirin on hand. These over-the-counter medications can help relieve muscle soreness and reduce inflammation after a workout.
An easy way to stop pain fast is to keep a few packs of Goody's pain relief powder in your sports bag. Each single-dose powder packet is formulated to target pain signals at the source, hitting pain right where it hurts and relieving a variety of body pains and headaches, muscle and back aches, and hangovers when used as directed. No matter where you're hurting, Goody's has a product with the right formulation to stop pain fast.
4. Stay hydrated
It's important to stay hydrated before, during and after any sports activity, especially during the summer months. Beyond feeling thirsty, dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps and dizziness. Keep a water bottle or two handy, and make sure you take regular water breaks, especially on hot days.
5. Listen to your body
Don't push yourself to exercise when your body hurts or you feel exhausted. Ignoring your body's signals that it needs rest and repair won't make you stronger or faster. In fact, it can set you back and cut your summer fun short.
Remember, soreness is a natural response to exercise and typically fades in a few days. Using these five tips, you can reduce the intensity of muscle soreness after any activity so you can keep playing ball, swimming laps or racing to the finish line.