3 Tips for Recovering From Your Post-Race Aches

Article posted in: Fitness

One thing we’ve noticed is that a lot of people who lose weight consider participation in a 5k or other kind of fitness event a real mark of having reached their goal. Besides announcing to the world that you’re now the kind of person who can cover 5k—or ride a bike or crawl through mud—fitness events are a great way to socialize and have a lot of fun. Plus, you get the bragging rights, and usually a T-shirt to help seal the deal.

But you might also get some aches and pains. New physical efforts, or hard, prolonged efforts in an event you’ve trained for, can produce soreness in your muscles and joints. They sometimes go with the territory, and more often than not are nothing more than a reminder of the hard work you’ve put in. If you ran a 5k today, or did something else to make your muscles sore, here are a few things you can do to soothe those aches.

Keep moving, stretch and drink. Once you’ve crossed that finish line, chance are good that all you want to do is get off your feet and have a cold drink. The cold drink—especially water—is a great idea, but getting off your feet isn’t. Keep moving, and then stretch, particularly if you have a car ride in front of you. Your muscles will feel better if you stretch them before you stop.

Take a bath with epsom salts. The magnesium in epson salts helps reduce muscle swelling, which is the source of much of your soreness. Fill the bath tub with warm water and add the salts, then enjoy your soak.

Move it again tomorrow. As tired as you may be tomorrow—and as much as you might think you have a right to a day off—your body will thank you if you go for a nice, easy walk tomorrow. The blood flow will flush a lot of the toxins, such as lactic acid, from your muscles. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.