Soreness that comes a day or two after you exercise is called delayed-onset muscle soreness, but you probably know it as plain old pain. The delayed ache is caused by tiny tears in the muscle that become inflamed. It’s a signal from your body to slow down and take a rest.
To quickly soothe those aching muscles run a warm bath and pop four antacid tablets into the water and soak your body for 20 minutes. When muscles are overextended, they swell, impeding blood flow and causing pain. Antacid tablets contain sodium bicarbonate, which gets blood circulating again. They also contain aspirin, which helps ease pain even when applied topically.
You can prevent sore muscles by warming up before you exercise and cooling down afterward, advises Jacob Schor, N.D., a naturopathic doctor in Denver and president of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors. Include at least a few minutes of movement with each of the major muscle groups—the calves, thighs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, and arms.