If you just started working out, it’s normal to have sore muscles for a day or two after each workout session. Weekend warriors who are only lightly to moderately active most days of the week but intensely active on one day per week often have soreness related to the workout intensity or duration. If you experience muscle soreness after a workout, here are some effective ways to relieve the discomfort.

Apply Ice

For the first 24 hours after a workout, you could apply ice to sore muscles. The ice reduces inflammation in the muscle tissue. Less swelling means less pain and stiffness. Avoid applying ice directly to your skin. Instead, use an ice pack wrapped in a towel.

Get a Massage

A massage is another way to ease muscle soreness after a workout. Be sure to tell the massage therapist about your sore muscles. A Swedish massage is a good technique when your body is sore. This technique uses light pressure. Massage promotes circulation and reduces tightness in muscles. Massages also boost your mood and promote relaxation.

Do Some Stretches

Gentle stretches help with the stiffness and tightness of sore muscles. Gentle stretches are also good to do before and after a workout. Arm swings, sitting with your legs out in front of you and reaching for your toes and cat arches with your back are all gentle stretches to do.

Try Light Exercise

When you’re sore, it’s tempting to stay on the couch for a few days. However, this could compound your problem. Get a good night’s sleep in order to allow your muscle tissue to repair itself. The day after a workout that causes soreness, do light exercises. Slow to moderate walking, swimming or yoga are some good light exercises that will keep your muscles limber and reduce lactic acid buildup.

Increase Hydration

Dehydration can compound soreness in your muscles. Maintaining proper hydration during and after a workout helps your body get rid of the metabolic waste products of burning calories while exercising. Water is the best option for hydration. If you sweated a lot or intensely exercised for a long time, an electrolyte solution might help. You could also eat some fruit or vegetables that are high in water and electrolyte content. Some good options include bananas for potassium, watermelon for potassium and vitamin B5 and strawberries for their manganese.

Take a Warm Bath

After an intense workout, a warm bath may soothe your sore body. Be careful with the temperature of the water. If your muscles are very sore, the heat from a sauna or hot tub might be too much. Their high temperatures could increase inflammation. Stick with regular shower or bath temperatures. Consider adding some Epsom salts to the bath. These can also help with muscle soreness. A warm bath may help release tightness in muscles and promotes better blood circulation.