Stretching is among the best ways to help ward off exercise-related aches and pains. While people tend to stretch prior to exercise, stretching after is often overlooked, experts say.
Physiologists also recommend including a cool-down period after every workout. Making sure that the muscles stay in motion can keep them from tightening up.
"Right before finishing, include 10 or so minutes of easy aerobic work such as jogging or walking followed by stretching," recommends David Draper, professor and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University, on WebMD.
Heat remedies have also proven effective for preventing after-exercise pain. The heat can relax the muscles and keep them from tensing up by increasing blood flow. Experts say that heat treatments can also get rid of chemical irritants that cause aches.
Don’t work out intensely every day, physiologists say. Your muscles need time to recover. Stagger your routine, working out different muscles on alternate days.
"It's best to plan a few days of easy exercise to prevent further muscle damage and reduce the likelihood of injury," said Carol Torgan, an exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Torgan adds that aches and pains following exercise should be minor and temporary. Lasting pain can indicate injury that may require medical attention. You should avoid exercise until addressing the pain issue.
No matter how much you stretch, you still may be susceptible to a little pain after engaging in an extended period of physical activity. However, that pain is usually a minor bump on the road to a healthier you.
Information from WebMD was used in this report.