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Take the Ouch Out of Exercise

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By Jen H. / Divine Caroline

When fitting exercise into a weight loss regimen, one of the biggest pitfalls is usually soreness or injury from doing too much too fast. This leads many of us to fall off the fitness bandwagon right when we are beginning to solidify real life changes into our routines. To ease soreness and heal injury, without reaching for the Ibuprofen, try these natural cures:

Well-known to increase the healing rate of bruises and swelling due to trauma (such as sprains). Taken externally, Arnica stimulates white blood cells and rids the body of congested blood and built up fluids. Rub it into the skin in the form of a salve but never take Arnica orally because it is poisonous.

A digestive enzyme found in the stem and fruit of pineapples, Bromelain has demonstrated its effectiveness in treating a wide variety of injuries. The proteolytic enzymes in pineapples, particularly bromelain, break down fibrin, a protein that the body deposits around the injury site to protect the tissue. A build up of fibrin can cause chronic pain and excessive inflammation. Bromelain also inhibits formation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance that triggers inflammation.

The same chemical, capasin, that makes cayenne hot to eat also makes it a natural heating pad to heal chronic injury and loosen stiff muscles. Take a warm towel, sprinkle cayenne on it and then place on whatever joint or muscle is bothering you. Start small—you can always add more cayenne as you go and it can burn you if you apply too much.

To ease sore muscles try a bath full of equal parts peppermint leaves, chamomile flowers, dried thyme, and lavender. Place all in a muslin sack and let steep for a full body tea!

Tired of taking pills for headaches or muscle pain? Try taking turmeric. One to two teaspoons every two hours is proven to be an effective painkiller.

If all else fails, try treating yourself to a massage for sore muscles and take it a bit easier. Often we start off with zeal when doing something new. Remember that slow and steady leads to lasting changes.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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