Most people are made to believe that sore muscles are sign of an excellent workout and that it means you are making positive changes on your body and overall health.

But often the truth is, you’re aching because you probably pushed yourself too hard because workouts don’t have to be that painful. Slight soreness is okay, but too much soreness that lasts for more than a day or two is a sign you might want to back off on your next lift.

It may be impossible to totally avoid sore muscles and still see gains since, from time to time, you may decide to push your body and hit that next level. But the good thing is that, soreness usually fades within a few days. If you pushed yourself too hard however, there are certain steps that you can take to feel better…faster.

1 – Stretch.

During a workout, your muscles contract and muscle fibers get shorter. Lengthening them through a good stretch can promote mobility and can lead to a faster and thorough recovery.

2 – Foam roll

Using a foam roller to massage your sore muscles after a workout can significantly reduce soreness. At least 5 rolls on each muscle group starting with your calves and all the way up your body while spending extra time on those sore spots, could significantly ward that soreness off.

3 – Focus on those sore spots.

Foam rolling is suggested between workouts and not just as a post-workout routine. Doing so can ease soreness and even boost mobility.

4 – Eat healthy.

Aside from the fact that it’s good for your overall health, eating healthy foods that are high in proteins, carbohydrates and fats plays an important role in repairing and maintaining muscles.

And proper diet can even help ward off sore muscles! So even though you’re on a low-calorie diet, try to eat as much healthy food as you can.

5 – Get heated “between workouts”.

NO – That’s not where we’re going with this tip you dirty-minded person, you!

Then again, a good endorphin release would probably help take your mind off the soreness…just sayin!

But I’m actually just talking about taking warm or hot baths, especially the focused heat like that of a jacuzzi “between workouts”. Therapeutic heat is a powerful tool in reducing soreness because heat increases circulation.

It is strongly discouraged though to get too hot immediately after a training session because such heat can exacerbate inflammation which may result in more muscle soreness. Plus, dehydration is always a factor to consider post-workout. So, drink plenty of fluids!

6 – Fatty acids intake.

Muscle soreness is usually due to inflammation. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce this inflammation. So for faster recovery, consume foods like salmon, free-range meat, flax, avocado, and walnuts.

7 – Keep moving.

You may say it’s absurd. When everything hurts, you may just want to lay down. But to keep moving is what’s exactly you need to do. A gentle yoga or going on an easy hike would help you feel much better. Fitness professionals call it “active recovery”.

8 – Ice it up.

To stave off inflammation of your muscles, ice it up immediately after a thorough workout. Just make sure you don’t ice yourself long enough to get a case of frostbite. Most top-level athletes swear this method speeds up the healing process without any adverse effects.

It may be impossible not to get sore muscles after a thorough workout. But by following the steps above, you can save yourself from suffering and enduring those aches and pains for too long.