Recently, I got a gym membership. The last time I had been to the gym was four months ago. My gym workouts typically consisted of an upper body day with a mix of back workouts and a lower body day with a mix of ab workouts. I returned to weights this week and I suffered.
I was so sore that basic motions were brutally painful to perform. Tasks such as putting on clothes, opening things like the cabinet, a can, or even getting up from a sitting to standing were difficult to perform. Hence, I learned:
- Never Get Out of Shape
It sounds like a no-brainer but it’s true. If I had lifted weights during the four months I was idle, I wouldn’t have been in as bad of a shape. My sore muscles reminded me how painful the journey was to get back into rhythm. It took me a full three days to recover compared to my typical one or two days.
2. Analgesic Topical Creams Are Your Friends
My weapon of choice is Vicks vapor rub. I prefer it because it helps me with an array of issues like nasal congestion and chest congestion in addition to aches. It delivered a soothing feeling to my achy muscles and provided a small temporary relief. The smell isn’t pleasant for many so I suggest staying home after using it or limiting your outings. A stranger may stare at you after getting a whiff.
3. NSAIDS! Bring em on!
My favorite NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) is generic Ibuprofen. I take them as directed and it works wonders. I don’t make it a habit to take them daily because longterm use is associated with certain medical problems. Nevertheless, I enjoy the relief it provides in combination with other remedies.
4. STRETCH, STRETCH, STREEEETTTCCHHH EVERYBODY!!
I cannot stress this point enough. Stretching before physical activity, after activity, and sometimes during activity helps relieve sore muscles and decreases the risks for injuries. Just research it. If you are particularly sore as a result of activity, it behooves you to stretch the affected muscle groups for at least three times per day during the days following your workout. It helps in a variety of ways.
5. Every Muscle is Important
This week I had aches in places I didn’t know existed. My armpit was hurting, my forearm was hurting, my upper back was hurting. I hadn’t felt that in a long time. It was a realization that each part of my body was important–to movement and my overall function in day to day activities. Until I had limited use of the smallest muscle group it hadn’t dawned on me.Every muscle is important, from my pectoralis to my aconeus muscle. Don’t neglect them.