Tips For Beating Post Workout Soreness
Nothing can ruin your enthusiasm for a new workout program
faster than the pain and stiffness that sneaks up on you the day after. This
delayed reaction from your muscles, known as DOMS or delayed onset muscle
soreness, has affected almost all of us at one time or another. While there is
no sure-fire cure or prevention for DOMS, here are a few tips to help reduce
your symptoms next time you hit the gym.
Understand what it is.
DOMS is thought to be a result of micro tears in the muscle
tissues during eccentric exercises in particular. While DOMS is not a sign of a
serious injury and usually goes away on its own within 48 hours, it can be very
uncomfortable and be a deterrent to continue exercising. It can also leave you
at a higher risk of injury, and for athletes who are competing in a tournament
and need to recover quickly, DOMS can be particularly problematic.
Warm-up and cool-down.
By taking the time to let your muscles warm-up, your muscles can
operate at maximum flexibility and reducing the tension on muscle tissues
during exercise. A cool-down allows effective blood flow to muscles after
exercise, so that any waste products such as lactic acid and calcium can flow
back into the bloodstream rather than staying in the muscle tissues.
Get a massage or use a foam roller
By massage tight and sensitive muscles, you can improve blood
flow and promote tissue healing and reduce pain. Both massage and foam rolling
can help to relax tight muscles and enhance tissue recovery in the first 24-48
Keeping hydrated allows your body to remove waste, stay
flexible, and help tissues heal optimally. The trick is to maintain hydration
throughout your day, not just when it’s time to exercise. It’s also essential
not to wait until you are thirsty, as you could also already dehydrated at this
Other advice includes gentle exercise, such
as 20 minutes on a stationary bike, and mild stretching. If you are
particularly brave, ice baths have recently been shown to have mild benefits in
pain reduction and ingesting caffeine before exercise has been shown to reduce
DOMS, however it is important to consult your health care professional first to ensure this is a safe
option for you.
None of the information in this post is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your injury.
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