What You Need to Know About Cycling and Muscle Soreness

What You Need to Know About Cycling and Muscle Soreness

September 16, 2019

Whether you’re a world-class cyclist or someone who enjoys a leisurely bike ride on Sunday afternoons, you’ve probably experienced some soreness the day following a ride. That’s to be expected—muscle soreness is common after bike rides, particularly if it was a long or intense route. As part of our series on cycling and health in Naples, FL, this post will teach you more about muscle soreness.

How does muscle soreness develop?

Muscle soreness doesn’t just occur after a long bike ride. It’s common after any sort of strenuous physical activity. Though scientists used to believe it’s caused by an overproduction of lactic acid, they now understand that it’s the result of small tears in the muscle fibers. When water enters these little tears, the fibers expand, resulting in quite a bit of pain that can last for several days.

How can I treat muscle soreness?

Just like with any pain, you want relief as soon as possible when your muscles are sore. Here’s how you can make yourself feel a little bit better:

  • Wait: Sore muscles aren’t permanently damaged, and that soreness will go away in a day or two. Simply wait it out, and your muscles should feel better in no time.
  • Pain medication: While you’re waiting for the soreness to stop, you can take some pain medication like Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen to help ease the discomfort.
  • Hot bath: Hopping in the bathtub or going for a schvitz in the sauna is a great way to relax after a long bike ride. The warm temperatures improve blood flow and increase oxygen in the muscles, alleviating the soreness.
  • Light exercise: Instead of sitting in a hot sauna (which does sound nice), you can also do a light workout to help get rid of any muscle soreness. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it, as any hard exercise will just make your muscles sorer the next day.

Can muscle soreness be prevented?

The good news is that not all bike rides have to end with sore muscles. Follow these tips and you’ll feel as good as new the day after a ride:

  • Stretch and warm up: Don’t hop right on your bike and go for a ride. Instead, do some stretching and maybe a little warm-up before you hit the road. Doing so will loosen your muscles and help them recover faster following your ride.
  • Eat right: Magnesium, as well as enzymes found in fresh fruits and vegetables, are known to prevent sore muscles. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies before a ride or workout can do wonders for your muscles the next day.
  • Train regularly: They say practice makes perfect, and it’s definitely true when it comes to decreasing muscle soreness. The more often you train and ride, the less sore you’ll be the following day.

Even though you may experience a bit of soreness, there’s no denying the fact that there’s a positive correlation between cycling and health in Naples, FL! Whether you need a tune-up or a new bike, come to Big Momma’s Bicycles—we have everything you need to get out on the road and improve your overall wellbeing.

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