Staying fit is incredibly important when it comes to continued good health throughout your life, no matter what age you are. People who are fit state that they are happier, while staying fit is a great way of improving your physical appearance. Along with the correct diet, a good fitness regime will go a long way at keeping illnesses at bay, to reduce income lost from not attending work and to help you avoid medical expenses.
Planning your fitness regime
Fitness regimes need to be thought through, as you need to make sure your entire body gets the exercise it needs. It is important to build muscle strength while also getting cardiovascular exercise. Training by means of running or cycling is important, but some resistance training, including weight training, for example, will help you to build and retain muscle mass.
Talking to a fitness consultant can be helpful, as personal trainers will tell you which areas you might be missing out on in your fitness regime. Experts can help you get more out of the time you spend getting fit, helping you exercise in an optimal manner. You may also have specific physical characteristics that preclude some exercises and make others more important.
Take note of setbacks
Exercising can be a physically intense experience and the risk of injury is always there. While fitness experts will help you to avoid getting into any trouble, it is inevitable that people who exercise will injure themselves at some point in time. Some of these injuries can be minor, such as skin burns caused by repetitive contact with surfaces.
Swelling in your fingers and toes can become more serious, and is often caused by the loss of electrolytes that occurs while you exercise. This need not become a serious problem and can be solved relatively easily by increasing your water intake while you exercise.
Coping with muscle soreness
One of the most common setbacks fitness lovers experience is muscle soreness. Sore muscles can easily become a problem if you have not exercised for a period of time, and it can make getting back into a fitness routine difficult. However, sore muscles need not keep you out of vigorous exercise for very long – here are five tips for coping with muscle soreness:
Apply ice to sore muscles
Even though a hot bath can make sore muscles feel better at first, applying ice will do a lot more to help sore muscles heal. Icing prevents further damage from occurring and can help speed up the healing process. Try easing the pain by applying a bag of crushed ice wrapped in a towel to the area that is painful.
It might be the last thing on your mind if your muscles are sore, but slow, steady movements can help you to recover. Increasing blood flow to sore muscles is helpful, so think about gentle, recovery exercises, such as cycling, yoga or using a foam roller. You don’t want to make the situation worse, but not moving at all could delay healing.
Epsom bath salts
Along with the soothing effects of a hot bath, topping it up with 200 to 400 grams of Epsom salt will do an excellent job of easing the pain. In water, Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate, which enters your body through your skin. Keep the parts of your body that hurt in the water for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
Try compression clothing
Wearing compression clothing from a trusted clothing brand before and after heavy exercise can help to relieve muscle soreness. Compression wear constricts your muscles and this works to reduce the amount of fluid buildup, which reduces problems with swelling and pressure, while also potentially increasing blood flow to the muscles.
Massage the sore spots
Foam rolling is an excellent way to massage areas that are hurting, and you should think about getting deep tissue massage in the affected areas. A massage speeds up blood flow and can help anti-inflammatory chemicals clear the area more quickly. It helps to massage around the area that is hurting and to slowly move closer until you reach the painful spot.
Setbacks and minor injuries are common when you have an intensive fitness routine. If you experience any issues, take stock of what has happened and reduce the intensity of your exercise until you have completely recovered. Once your recovery is complete, you can resume your exercise routine, taking care to avoid triggering the same problem again.