So, you've done it. You've finally dragged yourself out of bed, put on some runners and hit the gym. Endorphins are high and life is looking peachy -- until the next day when everything is so sore, even laughing hurts.
Unfortunately, it's all part and parcel of getting fit, but there are still things you can do to minimise your post work-out aches and pains. In order to find out more, The Huffington Post Australia spoke to Steve "Commando" Willis and he shared some of his personal tips and tricks.
"I think the pain associated with working out is something that tends to play on people's minds a lot, especially if they are a beginner," Willis told HuffPost Australia. "One of the reasons people don’t engage is because they know there is going to be a world of pain that is unfortunately going to come with it.
"The best thing you can do is try to prepare yourself mentally beforehand and know it’s going to occur, and then you can spend time after the workout dealing with it and trying to minimise the amount of time spent feeling sore.
"The onset of muscle soreness is greatest at about 48 hours after training."
Sadly -- and people are not going to like this -- one of the best things you can do to alleviate your workout pain is to get moving again.
"As sore as you might be, unfortunately, moving is one of the best things you can do," Willis said. "If you’re too sore to do your training, try and do some light cardio instead. Even just going for a walk will help.
"Another good idea is to go for a swim or to do some form of activity in a pool. You see footy players photographed at the beach the day after a big training session or a game all the time, because it's a good way to recover."
Willis also notes that stretching is important, though he recommends stretching after you work out rather than beforehand.
"We tend to be tight and sticky before we work out," Willis said. "So you want to have a big stretch when you're all hot and warm -- that's when you're in your best state and more receptive to handling stretching.
"Foam rollers or some forms of yoga can also help."
Baths are also a good idea -- hot or cold.
"There are mixed interpretations about whether hot or cold is better these days," Willis said. "Personally, I like contrasting -- when you go in between hot and cold.
"But a nice warm bath -- not steaming hot -- with Epsom salts after a work out is always good. You can soak yourself in there and get blood going into those areas. It will help to soothe and ease your muscles."
For those more serious about their training, Willis recommends regular massage and keeping up your nutrients. (He notes some athletes these days even choose to get their vitamins intravenously.)
"Vitamin C, magnesium and things like that. It goes straight into your body," Willis said.
For those not keen on needles, Willis says "magnesium tablets will definitely help with the muscles."
It's also essential for exercisers of all level to keep up their fluids and to ensure their body is getting the right fuel.
"It's extremely important to stay hydrated," Willis said. "Your body is like a car. If it runs low on oil, it can heat up and things are going to start sticking together and you don’t want that."
Finally -- Willis says one of the biggest things to help you recover (that is often overlooked) is sleep.
"Sleep is something that is always underestimated or, worse, not even thought about," Willis said. "People just 'go, go, go' and don't get enough sleep and then when they try to add their training in, they wonder why they can't recover.
"The answer is you're not being kind enough to your body."
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