While I am not stranger to regulary popping pills thanks to a lifetime of allergy and sinus problems, I try to limit my intake of pharmaceuticals to below Hollywood starlet levels. I kept on reading about the benefits of taking Ibuprofen to help reduce recovery time after a hard workout, long hike, or other strenous activity, so I figured I’d give the little orange pills a shot to see how well they actually did.

I haven’t hit the electric wheelchair at WalMart levels quite yet at 5’11” and 185 lbs, but I could definitely stand to lose a few pounds, or at least convert some fat into muscle. I recently started exercising several times a week again, after a few months of being slack about my fitness level. After doing a circuit type workout of squats, lunges, pushups, bicycle crunches, etc., I would be left sore for a few days, making further workouts in the days ahead less enjoyable and less productive when my body should have recovered by that point. I did warm ups, cool downs, and did not push myself to extreme levels of pain, so I knew I was just out of shape and my body was telling me as much.

ibuprofenI started taking two Ibuprofen immediately after a workout. The same went for a strenous hike, spending a day chopping wood, or any other heavy sustained physical activity that could possibly leave me sore. I was amazed at how little sorness I felt in the days after each activity. Just to make sure the lack of pain wasn’t because I was suddenly channeling Lance Armstrong’s fitness level, I tried stopping the Ibuprofen regimen. Sure enough, I was back to being gimpy after a workout. Starting back on the Ibuprofen meant going right back to short recovery times.

Give Ibuprofen a shot. The pills are dirt cheap, with a bottle of 500 being under $10 at Costco. If you can actually sustain a long workout (I can’t quite yet), I have read that taking a pill or two before the workout as well will also help reduce inflammation and recovery time. As with any medical advice you read on the Internet, you should probably also consult your doctor before following the advice of some weirdo (me).

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