Monday, October 21, 2013

Sore & Stiff Muscles After Exercising? Try Something New

In exercise many people like to push themselves and go to the next level.  Sometimes our exercise is boring and we want to try a new workout. Or maybe we haven't exercised for awhile and we feel sore and stiff after the workout.  Muscle soreness following an intense or new workout is frequently inevitable.  Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but the soreness is actually a good thing.  It means that you have done a great workout by stressing and challenging your muscles.  The muscle soreness is sourced in the inflammation caused from microscopic tears in your muscle fibers and their surrounding tissues. This after workout soreness is your body's normal response to exertion which is part of a physiological process that will increase strength and stamina. This allows your muscle fibers to repair themselves and grow stronger in the process.

While the muscle soreness will go away on its own in a few of days, no one likes to suffer the soreness.  A new study revealed that a new method to help the soreness is raw, unpasteurized watermelon juice.  Apparently, watermelon juice with its high concentration of l-citrulline  helped to reduce muscle soreness.  It also helped to normalize the heart rate of athletes after their workout. 

Looking at the study from an Ayurvedic perspective demonstrates how Ayurveda works.  Since the muscle soreness is from the inflammation created by the microscopic tears after a workout, it becomes necessary to get rid of the inflammation to reduce the pain.  Pitta, one of the Ayurvedic body types, can show it is imbalanced by becoming inflammatory or hot.  The tastes to balance pitta are sweet, astringent or bitter.  Watermelon has the taste of  sweet.  Watermelon also contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant lycopene.  Thus, inherent in the taste of the sweet fruit of watermelon is its anti-inflammatory qualities.  Ayurveda shows the beauty of nature and how it works.

But before you go eating or drinking sweet things for muscle recovery, remember that the watermelon had other properties to it.  Plus the key is balance, so incorporate other tastes and methods as well.  Turmeric, ginger and boswellia are also good Ayurvedic options for inflammation.

I would also recommend eating the fresh watermelon not just juicing it.  Real food has the same nutrients plus the fiber.  Food in it real form is the most natural and absorbable.  Also, in Ayurveda, melons are a food that should be eaten on their own, meaning they should not be eaten with other foods.  Eat the watermelon post workout and wait about an hour before eating anything else so your digestive system is not stressed.

Another good way to combat the inflammation in the muscle soreness is the homeopathic remedy arnica taken about 4 times a day or simply icing the area.

Even though the exercising caused some muscle soreness, it is a good thing.

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa

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