You may become stiff after exercising hard if you do not use your muscles much or if have a chronic condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. A variety of herbal remedies and exercises can reduce stiffness in your body. To avoid potentially dangerous supplements and prevent injuries, check with your doctor before trying herbal remedies or starting an exercise program.
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Herbal Supplements to Suppress Inflammation
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints in your body, and symptoms can include pain, swelling and stiffness. Many herbal remedies have potential to reduce inflammation in the joints and decrease your stiffness, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Components in green tea, ginger, Boswellia resin, turmeric or curcumin may suppress inflammation in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Thunder god vine is another potentially effective herbal supplement for fighting stiffness, but it may reduce bone-mineral density and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Herbals and Essential Nutrients
Some herbal supplements, such as evening primrose oil, borage and black currant, contain gamma linolenic acid. This fatty acid may have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce your stiffness, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Some nutrients in foods and non-herbal dietary supplements may also reduce stiffness. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, fatty fish and shellfish have an anti-inflammatory effect. Vitamin D, which is in fatty fish and fortified milk, is necessary for preventing muscle pain and weakness, according to MayoClinic.com. Vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin, suppresses inflammation in the joints.
Stretching, Aerobic Exercise and Strength Training
Stretching increases your range of motion and can reduce stiffness, especially after you have not exercised in a while, according to Medline Plus. Periodic stretching during a long workday can prevent stiffness in your body. Regular aerobic exercise helps you maintain or improve your cardiovascular fitness and prevents muscle pain and stiffness. Swimming and bicycling help you warm up your muscles without causing much pain. Strengthening exercises make your muscles stronger to take stress off your joints, according to MayoClinic.com. This can reduce joint stiffness.
Tai Chi and Yoga
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It involves slow, controlled movements, and many Chinese Americans practice it daily. Tai chi may reduce stiffness and pain and improve your balance. Yoga is another option to improve your range of motion. Tai chi and yoga emphasize the connection between the mind and the body. They can lower your stress levels and reduce the amount of pain you may feel when you are stiff.