Work/rest balance is key

The balance between working out and relaxation is essential for getting in shape. Both during and after your workout.

You are now in your 3rd week of getting in shape and working on your cardio. Give maximum effort when you work out, so you really ‘need’ your moments of rest. A very effective way to work on your cardio is to alternate between doing an exercise with a high intensity and doing the next exercise with a low intensity.

Also plan resting days in between your workouts, so your body has time to heal. This will also prevent you from having very bad muscle pain.

Young woman suffering from neck pain and backache, stretching the muscles at home. back and neck pain woman

Here are some more tips to prevent muscle pain:

  1. Have a good post-workout meal. This should be full of protein and carbs, so your muscles recover more quickly.
  2. Make sure you do a proper warming up and cooling down. The warming up prepares the muscles for the intensive workout and the cooling down prevents your body from cooling down too quickly.
  3. Take a warm shower. Also a warm bath, a warm compress, an infrared light or sauna can warm up your muscles. This improves the blood circulation and this helps to remove waste products faster.
  4. Drink plenty of water. This ensures that the waste products are diluted and can be broken down more easily.
  5. Put magnesium, calcium and potassium on your menu. Magnesium is found in legumes, nuts, seeds, green (leaf) vegetables, grapefruit and apricots. Calcium can be found in dairy products, for example, and potassium can be found in potatoes, milk products, vegetables, fruit and nuts.
  6. Consume enough calories. Your muscles need energy (calories) to grow. In other words, you have to eat more and/or differently to prevent muscle pain.
  7. Know your body. Determine what type of physique you have. This affects how you can best train and how you recover after training.
  8. Wear good sportswear. Especially if you do outdoor sports in the winter: prevent yourself from getting cold. Because you can become stiff and force muscle pain. Bring an extra jacket for after training and/or wear a hat and gloves.

What to do when you have muscle pain?

Then it makes sense to improve blood flow in the area where you have muscle pain. This increases  the oxygen supply and the removal of lactic acid is also faster. Here’s what you can do for better blood flow:

1. Get into bed. Sleeping helps against muscle soreness that occurs the day after exercise. There are small tears in the muscles that only recover with rest.

2. Move slowly. Give your muscles time to recover. That doesn’t mean you have to lay down on the couch all day. In contrary! You have to keep moving slowly, that increases the blood flow which makes the muscle pain go away.

3. Use a tool: the foam roller. Roll our sore muscles over the foam roller. This puts pressure on you and stimulates the blood circulation in your muscles. The great thing about a foam roller is that you can very specifically ‘massage’ the body parts that hurt.

4. Be realistic. Do you have muscle pain all the time? Maybe you’re too fanatical, try the workout at a lower intensity.

Personal Trainer Anna:

“Enjoy the moment! Try not to think of any outside distractions and get your body moving for 45 minutes. Each time you do one of my classes I want you to feel positive, energetic & walk away feeling amazing.”

With your devotion and our help, you will get in shape in 8 weeks!

Good luck!