Nobody really enjoys working out. It's something most of us do to keep in relative shape so we can smash pizza and beer on the weekend guilt-free. And that's completely fair enough.
If you're just starting out or adapting to a new regime, there's no denying it can be bloody tough on your body. An intense session at your local gym will most likely leave you feeling totally exhausted, and that's before tomorrow's aching muscles start to set in.
The good news is that muscle soreness is a sign you're doing things right (to an extent). While you have to go through a little pain to get results, there are a number of handy tips you can follow to help you recover quicker from your workout. Here's a list of some well-known and perhaps slightly unorthodox ways to reduce muscle soreness and help you feel revitalised and ready to do it all again the following day.
Sleep is key
It might seem obvious, but most people don't get the required amount of sleep they need, resulting in lacklustre workouts and overworked muscles. As well as getting a minimum eight hours each night, power naps are a great way to re-energise your body.
Don't underestimate cardio
Clanging and banging is a great way to pump up your pythons, but you need to warm your muscles up before getting stuck in. A light 10-minute cardio workout will get the blood flowing and aid in your recovery process afterwards.
ALL the protein shakes
Gym bros swear by them and so do the experts. A protein shake after working out is a great way to heal muscles. If that doesn't float your boat, drink plenty of water and try taking vitamin C and B-12 tablets - both help with antioxidants and red blood cell production.
You'll need a prescription for CBC in Australia, but the cannabis extract is a great way to recover from high-intensity physical activity. While it won't get you high, it can aid your sleeping patterns and is a great stress reliever.
Boost your magnesium levels
Studies show people with low levels of magnesium find it harder to recover from inflammation, so try incorporating a magnesium supplement into your diet. If you're a fan of baths, add some Epson salt to the tub and have a good 10-minute soak.
Hot and cold showers
If an ice bath is taking things too far, try hot and cold showers as a way to recuperate. Officially known as contrast therapy, alternating your shower temperature is a great way to heal your post-workout body.
Foam rolling is the future
It might look a bit silly, but using a foam roller is an absolute essential for fitness fans. Gently roll your key muscles, particularly your quads, over the foam roller to loosen your tissue and relieve pain from your muscles.
Netflix and chill
Laughter is the best way to kick the post-workout come down. While not directly associated with muscle recovery, kicking back to an episode of Seinfeld or watching some stand-up comedy can release endorphins that will minimise any pain you're feeling and gives you a good reason to relax on the couch after a tough session.