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What can I do to help avoid sore muscles or at least alleviate the pain when it happens?

Painful muscles can strike at any time, not just immediately after a workout.

There are many possible causes of sore muscles but fortunately there are an equal number of steps you can take to help the problem...

Warm up and cool down
Warming up before a workout is essential to prepare your body for the forthcoming physical exertion thereby preventing muscles pains and strain. SImilarly, a warm down or cool down helps return your body back to its regular state.

Drink, drink, drink
Dehydration is one of the main reasons why muscles can begin to feel sore, particularly after a workout. So remember to keep that water flowing!

Massage away the pain
A massage stimulates blood flow to the muscles which in turn encourages tissue repair and alleviates stiffness and swelling.

Feed on anti-inflammatory foods
Muscle pain is often a direct result of inflammation so eating a diet high in foods containing anti-inflammatory properties can make a real difference. Ten of the best such inflammation fighting foods are ginger, whole grains, mackerel, salmon, strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, mangoes, cauliflower and broccoli.

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