Our Easter ride was double my usual commute. Fortunately, as a former dancer, I know what to do for sore muscles.
I won’t sit still. Immobility will make things worse. Gentle walking, bouncing, stretching will keep my body from freezing up.
I am going to soak in a warm tub with Epsom salts. I’ll put about a cup in. If this had been more strenuous, I might have used two. You can get them in the drug or grocery store. They are inexpensive, but usually hidden down on the bottom shelf.
If any places in particular are talking to me, I will rub in some arnica gel. This is an herb that is an age old remedy for swelling and bruises. I use a brand called Arniflora. I had thought that this was a new discovery, but my mother informed me that Lil Orphan Annie used to get down the big bottle of Arnica after her battles with the Pirates.
If my muscles are in serious condition, or I have to heal quickly, I also take homeopathic Arnica. Homeopathy makes no sense to me on a mechanical or biochemical level. But my experience has shown that it works whether I believe in it or not. A naturopath once prescribed 1M arnica for me post-surgery. The allopathic doctors and surgeons were astounded at my fast recovery.
Massage also helps push the soreness out. My grandfather was a poor farmer, who tended his fields with a team of horses. He got a weekly massage. Coming from Finland, he regarded this as essential for good health.
The next day, if I am going to use the same muscles again — that is, if I am biking again, I will very gently move to warm and then stretch all the affected areas. This helps get out the lactic acid and other fatigue compounds that make your muscles sore. When you move, listen to how your body wants to stretch, like a dog or cat does. They don’t reach for a goal. They listen to the pleasure of the body, and what it needs.
Just before donning my garb to take off, I might rub the tender spots with some ice to draw blood to them. I learned this from a chiropractor who was an over-40 Tae Kwon Do champion. A hot rub, like Ben-gay or Tiger Balm, or White Flower Lotion, will do the same thing. (If there is some injury involved, not just soreness, don’t apply actual heat for at least 48 hours, unless told differently by your health professional).
If all else fails, you can take some Ibuprofen to get the muscles to relax. Watch the quantity — it is hard on your kidneys. The natural remedies are much easier on your whole body.
As the soreness leaves, enjoy your growing strength and stamina!