Fitness Friday How To Minimize Post Workout Pain

How to minimize post workout pain title image

Nothing can dampen your enthusiasm for working out faster than excessive pain in the days that follow.

A deep but bearable burn in the muscles you’ve been using is to be expected but srong pain that does not go away and gets in the way for your regular daily activity is NOT!

Here are simple ways you can push hard during your workouts without suffering dire consequences:

Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE!!!

Let me say it again — Hydrate! Proper hydration is essential for so many reasons and it plays a key role in keeping pain to a minimum after your workout. Properly hydrated cells are nice and plump, and muscles much more resilient. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. I usually make sure to drink half a litter to a litter up to half an hour before my workout, sip 8 ounces or so during my workout and drink plenty for the rest of the day. My total water consumption for the day is somowhere between three and four litters or roughly one gallon.  I frequently add 8 ounces of coconut water after my workout, sometimes in a protein rich smoothie, as it is close to our body’s natural ph and rich in electrolytes, so a perfect recovery drink.

[Tweet “Well hydrated muscles are much more responsive to a tough workout!”]

Stretch Thoroughly

I’m a strong believer in engaging in at least five minutes of dynamic stretching before a workout and at least five to seven minutes of static stretching afterwards.   Dynamic stretching is a fabulous way to warm up your muscles without strain. It awakens your body in a fun and complete way, getting your muslces ready for even the most challenging of workouts.  A good stretch after a workout is a fabulous way to cool down and take advantage of the added flexibility you gain when your muscles are warm. Cooling down signals your body to release the hormones necessary to start the repair process and is essential for healthy, flexible muscles. So don’t skip this important phase.

Ease Into It

A good warm up is essential but easing into your workout is equally important. By that I mean don’t go from zero to one hundred in your first set.  If you haven’t exercised for a while, don’t overdo it.  Increase the intensity and speed of your exercises progressively. As your muscles warm up they become more elastic and resilient and once they are fired up you can push a little harder without risking injury.  It’s so tempting to push hard at the top of your workout when you’re fresh and well rested but resist the temptation. You’ll get more out of your workout overall and won’t regret your decision days later.

Insist on Proper Form

I cannot stress enugh how important it is to have proper form when you workout. I always prioritize form, no matter what. Poor execution of an exercise is a common cause of injury and one that is easy to avoid. Make sure to consult a personal trainer if yoa are unsure of how to properly execute an exercise. It’s one of the best investments you can make!

Know your Limits

It can be really tempting to push harder than you should during a workout, especially when you are in a fun class with people who are giving their all. I know. I’m guilty of this. I strongl encurage you to give your all but know your limits! If you start to feel pain stop! Exercise will make your muscles ache and burn but you should not feel pain, especially sharp pain. You know your body better than anyone so make sure to listen and rest when you need to.

Feed Your Workout

Proper nutriton is a must! I love to indulge in a delcious protein rich shake within a half hour of a strenuous workout.  The right kind of food supplies all the nutrients your body needs for repair.


Ah yes! Rest is so important and probably one of the things most commonly ignored when it comes to keeping your workouts safe, at least until the last decade or so. With the popularity of HIIT, BURST and Tabata workouts we’ve come to understand how rest now only plays a key role in minimizing post workout pain but in building up strong, resilient muscle mass and maximizing the benefits of a workout. Rest during your workout. take rest days between workouts and always insist on a good nigh’t sleep.

I hope you’ll find these tips helpful and a great way to make your workouts more enjoyable both at the time of your workout and within the days that follow.




  1. Great tips. I am sitting here achey because I just started at the gym yesterday. I am starting slowly, but I am very out of shape. I am determined to keep it up!

  2. Alicia Boarts says:

    Good advice. I’m terrible at being consistent with workouts, and sometimes that week or two in between, means more pain after that next workout. I need to keep motivated even though it hurts the next day.

    • It’s true that when we take prolonged time off our bodies get a little stiffer Alicia. I would suggest pulling back a little on the intensity of your workout when you first get back into it so you can minimize the discomfort and increases your chances of sticking to it.

  3. alicia szemon says:

    these are some good tips! thanks for sharing

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