Do you have sore muscles after a day on the mountain? If you’re not used to it, challenging or unfamiliar exercises like skiing, snowboarding, or mountain biking can bring more muscle soreness than you’re used to.
Delay onset muscle soreness or DOMS might be something you’re used to from hitting the gym. If you change up your physical routine, though, now you have a whole new set of muscles supporting and stabilizing your body.
If you’re expecting to get sore muscles on your mountain sport vacation, it’s useful to know how to get rid of sore muscles. Why? To maximize your vacation and get back on the mountain quicker, of course!
Keep reading for three proven ways to ease muscle pain and get back to doing what you love.
You Are What You Eat
One of the best things you can do to reduce sore muscles is to eat certain foods. Mushrooms are full of compounds called polysaccharides that are known to be powerful anti-inflammatories. The way they work is by reducing cytokine creation.
Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, such as tart cherries, has been known to drastically reduce DOMS and muscle soreness. Inflammation is partially an immune response and partially due to microtears in muscle fiber.
Contrary to popular opinion, it has very little to do with lactic acid buildup.
Fighting soreness with diet shifts can be done leading up to and after your physical exertion. If you’re used to a lot of intense activities, it’s easy to add a few healthy additions to your diet.
Fire and Ice: The Perfect Pair
Heating pads help to open constricted blood vessels as a vasodilator. In turn, that increased blood flow helps to flush the area of muscle waste and inflammation-causing hormones.
Alternating with an ice pack can help reduce downtime and prevent elastic tissue damage. The most effective time for this is immediately after physical activity and up to 24 hours after.
One study investigated the use of ice baths to reduce swelling and tissue breakdown that adds to DOMS. It was found that a 5-10 minute ice bath up to 24 hours after physical activity can reduce pain and downtime by up to 20%!
Massage and Compression
Foam rollers and compression gear are well known to reduce muscle soreness and help prevent muscle damage after workouts. They help to prevent edema or fluid buildup after your physical activity while increasing blood flow. That, in turn, reduces creatine kinase in your muscle (and those resulting aches and pains).
It may come as no surprise that massage is one of the top ways to reduce soreness and recovery time.
Cytokines are natural proteins that are essential for immune system function. But too many cytokines can cause an inflammatory response in your body. When you do an intense or unfamiliar physical activity, like snowboarding or skiing, it creates a mini “cytokine storm” that causes the familiar aches of muscle soreness.
Massage not only reduces cytokine production and release but also stimulates cellular mitochondria. This helps to promote cell repair and overall function.
How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles After Mountain Sports
Now that you know how to get rid of sore muscles, you may realize it doesn’t take much to make a big difference. Eat the right foods, wear the right gear, use ice and heat packs, take an optional ice bath, use a foam roller, and, best of all, get a massage.
Simply Massage has been serving Colorado mountain towns including Glenwood Springs and Avon for over 15 years. We’re dedicated to mountain culture and helping you feel your best.
Do your body a favor and go where the locals go. Contact us at 970-748-1600 to book your massage and get rid of those sore muscles today.