How to Prevent Muscle Fatigue After Strenuous Exercise

How to Prevent Muscle Fatigue After Strenuous Exercise

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Carbohydrates are key for fueling muscles during your workout.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The strain of strenuous exercise causes small tears throughout your muscle fibers that take days to repair. Fatigued muscles are often sore during the body's rebuilding process, but there is plenty you can do to minimize the fatigue and pain you experience. Appropriate diet and taking care of your body before and after exercise can help your body rebuild muscle efficiently with as little muscle weakness as possible.


Consume enough carbohydrates in your everday diet to keep your body well-fueled during exercise. Runners, swimmers and other aerobic athletes should get between 40 and 60 percent of calories from carbs, while athletes who focus on anaerobic exercise like weight lifting should derive 30 to 35 percent of their calories from carbs.


Warm up with stretches and light aerobic activity for five to 10 minutes before you work out. According to research conducted by Sydney, Australia's Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group, a pre-workout warm-up results in noticeably less muscle soreness for a full week after exercise.


Drink about six cups of water per hour of exercise to keep your muscles adequately fueled.


Cool down by stretching your muscles and performing light cardio for five to 10 minutes post-workout.


Immerse your sore muscles in a cold water bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Set the water temperature between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold-water immersion treatment soothes acute tissue inflammation and reduces muscle pain and fatigue.


Eat black cherries, blueberries, black currants and other foods that contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins create the dark pigment in many common fruits and also serve to increase oxygen flow throughout your vascular system, which leads to diminished muscle pain.


Get a professional massage to combat persistent muscle soreness. A good massage can reduce exercise-related soreness for up to two days after treatment.


Take up regular yoga practice. Research shows that practicing yoga at least once a week improves flexibility and lowers workout-related muscle fatigue and soreness.


Rest the sore muscles before working out again to avoid further injury. Don't work out the target area again until the muscles are no longer sore or fatigued in everyday use.


  • Talk to your physician if excessive muscle fatigue persists.