How to Avoid Being Sore

by Meredith Winnett

Yesterday was my first day back at the gym in over a month. As you can imagine, I’m feeling it today. I only did arms, no legs, abs, or cardio, so I can actually walk and not hate myself. It’s still inconvenient and I would like to avoid being sore forever when I eventually do legs, abs, and cardio.

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So how can I avoid being sore?

  • Eat Bananas – I’m not really sure how the magic of bananas works, but it does. I usually eat two or three, but bananas are sent from a higher power, so fill up!
  • Stretch! – Before. After. During. Before bed, when you wake up, you can’t stretch too much. Plus, stretching feels good, especially when your muscles are sore. You should be stretching anyway if you’re serious about working out. Check this link for simple stretches.
  • Drink chocolate milk – Again, I’m not sure how this works, but apparently it does. I’ve never personally tested it since I can’t drink milk, but I know people who have tried it and I guess they’ve been successful.
  • Stay hydrated – This is the most important thing to do while working out. You should be drinking at least two more cups of water per day while working out. Keep your muscles hydrated, and they’ll reward you. Gatorade is effective in hydration, but is intended for serious athletes, not your average 1-hour gym attendee. If you do buy a bottle, pour half of it into another container for another day, then add water to the original bottle. Gatorade is full of sugar, so it can actually be bad for you unless you’re working out for 5 hours.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C has been proven to make muscles less sore after working out. You can take a supplement, or eat oranges, peppers, broccoli, kale, strawberries, kiwi, or cauliflower.
  • Start Slow – Don’t push yourself too hard while working out. The easiest way to avoid muscle soreness is to start slowly and gradually raise your weights. I usually do one weight for the week, then raise it the next week. For example, if I start at 70 pounds on the chest press, I’ll stay at 70 pounds for the week, then raise it to 80 pounds on my first arm day of the next week.

Do you have any tips for avoiding soreness? Let us know in the comments!