Leg soreness is a common occurrence for those who train regularly and push their limits. It doesn’t matter if you’re sore from weight or cardio-based activities, the experience is the same. When soreness sets in, the first thought is typically “Wow, I must’ve got in a great workout yesterday!”, but the second thought is usually along the lines of, “How can I quickly recover and get back to feeling good for my workouts?”.
Whether you had an intense squat day or added extra mileage to your run, there are a few proven methods that will help you get back to feeling your best. Training is an important component of fitness, but proper recovery is also a must if you want to get the most benefit, perform at your best, and stay injury-free.
Causes of Leg Soreness
Leg soreness can arise from a variety of reasons, the most prevailing are overuse and normal wear and tear. During workouts, muscle fibers are stressed, creating small tears. This microdamage causes the sensation of soreness, but more importantly, it’s also why adequate recovery after exercise is so necessary. When muscle fibers are continuously broken down, without having the time to rebuild in between workouts, overuse injuries become a lot more likely. Overuse and wear and tear typically result when proper workout recovery isn’t taken into account.
How to Eliminate Sore Legs after a Workout
1. Active Recovery
Making a beeline for the couch sure sounds enticing when your legs are feeling sore. Yet, resting won’t actually help you recover any quicker. In reality, it slows the process down. Movement is the key driver of the recovery process. Get in some low-stress movement (think a light cycle or swim) and you’ll recover faster. Each stage of your body’s recovery process is facilitated by movement, which is why active recovery is such a useful tactic. Keep in mind, there’s a fine line between active recovery and transitioning into another workout, so make sure to keep the movement light.
There are also recovery tools like Marc Pro that make active recovery easy and effective. Using exclusive, patented technology, Marc Pro provides non-fatiguing active recovery, which means you can use it for as long as you need to achieve a more complete recovery. Plus, it can be used during everyday activities like working, traveling, or relaxing so you don’t need to dedicate any additional time. Athletes across all sports and activities choose Marc Pro for its effectiveness and ease of use.
2. Hydrate & Nourish
Replenishing water and nutrients are critical for your body’s recovery process to run efficiently. When our muscles are adequately hydrated and nourished, they can perform at their best while working out and while recovering. Most adults need 9-13 cups of water a day, plus an additional 1.5-2.5 cups if you exercise for an hour a day. Requirements can also increase with prolonged activity or heat.
Working out depletes our energy stores, plus damaged muscles need supplies to repair, which is why protein and carbohydrates are two of the most important nutrients to replenish with after exercise. Giving your body the supplies it needs it optimally recover will make other recovery methods all the more effective.
Sleep is one of the most valuable recovery methods. Many of our body’s restorative function occur while we’re asleep. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to recharge for the next day. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with decreased athletic performance. One specific study on basketball players revealed that longer sleep significantly improved speed, accuracy, and reaction times. When it comes to athletic performance and recovery, sleep is vital.
Soreness is a part of the fitness game. But, it shouldn’t hold you back from your training. These 3 methods will help give you fresh legs faster so you can keep progressing and doing what you love.