As every weekend warrior or gym rat knows, stiff joints and aching muscles are a small price to pay for working out and staying healthy.
According to health experts, sore muscles are the result of microscopic injury to the cells in the muscles, surrounding tendons and connective tissue. Damage to the cells causes biological chemicals to leak out and stimulate nerve endings, causing pain.
The bad news is that the pain -; otherwise known as delayed onset muscle soreness -; will usually intensify on the first day and peak between one and three days. The good news is that the damage is reversible and can even result in greater strength and endurance in the long term.
While muscle fatigue can rarely be avoided, there are some things you can do to combat the problem. Here are some tips:
* Eat and drink well. The more you work out, the better you need to eat.
"Stress or inflammation due to injury or strenuous physical exertion can have a negative impact on immune function, which in turn leads to reduced physical performance," says Dr. William C. Franke of the Center for Advanced Food Technology at Rutgers University.
To this end, supplemental health drinks like NuVim can keep you going. NuVim contains an immune-boosting nutrient called Mune Pro, along with Accuflex, a micronutrient that supports muscle flexibility and sturdy joints. This healthy beverage also contains the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, along with B-12, zinc, calcium and essential amino acids.
The active ingredients in NuVim were tested in a study of trained distance runners. After six months, 70 percent of those in the test group reported overall improvement in racing and shorter recovery times, versus 20 percent in the control group.
NuVim comes in a variety of fruit flavors and is located in the refrigerated juice section of your local supermarket. For a list of stores that carry it or to purchase NuVim in powder form, visit www.nuvim.com or call (877) 850-8777.
* Warm up and cool down. Muscles need time to get used to an activity and conversely, time to relax after they're done working. An easy warm-up of three to five minutes and a couple of minutes of cooling down is always necessary.
* Stretch. After cooling down, stretching your muscles will do wonders in preventing muscle soreness. In fact, the more time you can devote to stretching after a workout, the better and faster you'll recover. Each stretch should be held for at least 10 to 20 seconds before moving to the next stretch.
* Massage. While going to your local day spa may be just what the doctor ordered, self-massage can also go a long way in helping to relax tired muscles and aid in the recuperation process.