So, I was just over at Mademoiselle's blog and she raised a good question that I thought I would address. The issue of muscle soreness.
We've all been there. Running on little to no food, working out to empty ourselves of the extra calories. Some days the pain can be so bad it's hard to get out of bed.
I tend to be a chronic over-exerciser but I have found three things that help me get over the soreness of what I put my muscles through.
The first it stretching
Most people tend to underestimate the importance of stretching. After a good workout, your muscles NEED it. Without a good stretch, they will tighten and pull your body every which way causing you pain and preventing you from keeping active (and burning more calories). I tend to spend almost as much time stretching as I do exercising. So give your muscles a little warm up, because stretching cold muscles accomplishes nothing and spend some time every day stretching.
Your sex life will thank you.
The second is protein
Now, I realize protein has calories, however they are certainly going to go a lot further in helping you lose weight than eating white rice (as I see a lot of girls on these blogs are doing). Your muscles need protein to re-build and without it they will just break down and the calories you consume will instead be turned to fat. The advantage is, the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more fat you will burn. If you've gotta have those grains, I recommend quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), as it cooks up just like rice but is the only whole grain that is also a complete protein. And it's good with everything.
One of the things I do is cook a chicken breast, tear it apart and keep it in my fridge in a glad-lock container. A few times a day I will take it out and have a bite. This keeps food cravings at bay and also gets me my protein. You can also buy canned chicken if it's easier, but I like to season the stuff I cook. It's a little yummier.
Also, steak is a great dinner choice. If you get steak at a restaurant, it tends to be loaded with fat and grease, but if you make your own you can buy lean stuff and just add a little pepper or steak seasoning. Steak is better than chicken when it comes to re-building muscles because it is more nutrient packed (iron is a biggie here) and it is also much yummier. Which leads me into number three.
The third: VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Ladies and gentlemen, get yourself a good multi-vitamin! If you are eating fruits and veggies, it is good to look for colorful stuff like spinach and romaine lettuces, as well as bell peppers and oranges, but because a) by the time food gets from the growers to the store to our homes to our mouths, they are very much depleted of their nutrients and b) let's face it, we aren't eating much anyway, it is important to get a good multi-vitamin. Vitamin C is a primary vitamin when it comes to restoring muscles, but iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium are all important too. I highly recommend Shaklee brand Vita-Lea with Iron. It is LOADED with necessary vitamins and while it is a little pricier than what you might find at Wal-Mart, it is one of the highest quality vitamins around. Whatever you find though, make sure it is water soluble, as fat soluble vitamins can build up in your system and make you very sick or even kill you. I find that if I am taking Vita-Lea at least a few times a week I feel much more energized and healthy than when I don't. Also, having adequate nutrition helps curb cravings so you might find you binge a lot less when your body is supplied. Besides, you want your weight loss to look effortless, right? If your health is failing, it won't.
So take care of yourselves! If any one else has any good muscle soreness advice, feel free to share!