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Natural Ways to Ease Sore Muscles from Summer Activities & Exercise

Summer is a wonderful time to be active, try new things, travel new places, and enjoy the great outdoors. But all of these activities can put an unusual strain on the body, making you feel more stiff and sore than usual.

Muscle soreness often results after a period of exertion but doesn’t set in until the next day or even a couple days later. This is especially common if you pick up a new hobby for the first time and work out muscles that your body isn’t accustomed to using. Yet over time, these muscles rebuild themselves in a stronger way to sustain the activity without pain.

Photo credit: Richard Bonnett via Flickr

Many people are quick to reach for the closest bottle of ibuprofen or pain killer to ease soreness pain when it strikes. But most types of muscle soreness are very temporary and manageable with natural home remedies rather than popping pills. So, next time you push yourself a little too hard, try these muscle soreness remedies to find some relief and get back to the activities you love.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a key nutrient for relieving sore muscles, and there are a few different ways that you can get it. Start by eating more magnesium-rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, fish, yogurt, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Magnesium supplements are available if you aren’t getting enough of these foods in your diet. You may also be able to find magnesium oil in a pump bottle that makes it easy to apply oil to a specific part of the body that’s sore.

Epsom Salt

One of the most soothing ways to ease sore muscles is to take a warm bath, which helps loosen up some of the tightness you’re feeling with heat and steam. Pour a cup of Epsom salt into a tub of warm water and soak for 15-20 minutes for an even better effect.

Photo credit: Champagne Suki via Flickr

Protein

Sore muscles could also be a cry for help that your body needs more protein. Overworked muscles need extra nutrition, and protein is what will build them back up again. Marine protein sources are excellent for muscle repair, as well as poultry, lentils, and quinoa.

Hydration

Healing muscles need plenty of hydration to repair themselves naturally, so make sure to drink more water than you’re used to when feeling sore. It is recommended that alcohol and caffeine should be avoided during periods of soreness because they can make you more dehydrated. However, some studies show that a little caffeine can block adenosine, which is the chemical released by the body to respond to an injury and make you feel sore.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most widely used and versatile home remedies, so of course, it has applications for sore muscles too. Try mixing a couple tablespoons of it into a cold glass of water and sipping it. To make the beverage a little tastier, add a teaspoon of local honey and a couple sprigs of fresh mint!

Gentle Massage

When you’re feeling sore, few things feel better than a massage – whether you do it yourself, ask a loved one to work out your tightness, or treat yourself to a day at the spa. Massage stimulates blood circulation and promotes healing, as long as it’s gentle enough to not cause additional pain. Try experimenting with essential oils that have properties for relieving muscle pain for an added bonus. Oils to try include lemongrass, peppermint, marjoram, basil, and chamomile.

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