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5 tools to help relieve post exercise soreness

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From a foam roller to the right supplements, here are five tools to have on hand that will help you beat those niggles so you can keep moving.

Sick of those muscle and joint aches and pains throwing a spanner in the works when it comes to staying active? You’re not on your own there. Four out of five Australians with some type of pain or ‘niggle’ say it’s limiting their ability to participate in everyday activities, including the ones that help them maintain their physical fitness.

It’s a statistic that got us thinking – what if you could build a toolbox full of ‘things’ to help you overcome those niggles and stay active? Well, it turns out you can. What you put in your toolbox will vary slightly depending on your personal needs – and niggles! – but this handful of suggestions is a great place to build from.

1: A foam roller.

Using it to give your muscles a bit of a massage, either before or after exercise, is a science-approved way to relieve muscle pain and may even improve a joint’s range of movement, too. To get the most out of it, choose a muscle you want to focus on and, using your bodyweight and the roller to apply pressure to the area, roll slowly and in multiple directions, across the roller. Pause for a few seconds when you find spots that feel tighter or more painful than others to help the muscle ‘release’. Read more about how to use a foam roller for best effect.

2: A stretching band.

This will allow you to do what are known as resistance, or power band, stretches. By physically creating and freeing up space in between your joints, this type of stretching allows tissues to relax and release. Stretching with an exercise band can also improve flexibility, which is essential for healthy muscles and joints.

3: A supplement that supports your muscles.

Blackmores Super Magnesium + can help to reduce or relieve muscle cramps and spasms, decrease muscle tension and stiffness and support muscle performance and endurance, when dietary intake of the mineral is inadequate.

4: And one that supports your joints, too.

For this, you need a joint-health supplement that contains collagen, such as Blackmores Collagen Joint Renew, because its collagen that’s the main building block of the cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions the end of the bones in your joints and allows them to move smoothly. By helping to maintain and support collagen formation, a collagen supplement can in turn support cartilage health and can even help to relieve any mild joint pain associated with mild osteoarthritis.

5: A heat pack – or a cold one.

Both can be an effective way to help reduce the pain associated with delayed-onset muscle soreness, which usually kicks in 12-24 hours after exercise. It is important to understand a few ‘dos and don’ts’ around how to use heat and cold packs though, so make sure you’re across that before you get started. Plus, it’s also really important to be familiar with the signs to look out for that a muscle pain may be something more serious.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.