Sore Muscles: 5 Tips on How to Prevent It
Have you just finished several rounds of intense workouts and your muscles are aching badly? One of the longest and most common myths associated with fitness, in general, is that having sore muscles is an excellent sign that your body is transforming in a positive direction. But the truth is that sore muscles and the quality of your workouts are for the most part, unrelated. What sore muscles imply is that you have pushed yourself a fraction too far or you are performing exercises you have never done before. Do not be surprised that there are steps you can follow from inception that will help you to avoid soreness in your muscles. But that is a subject for another post.
However, although muscle soreness is not a necessity when you are working out, it can take you by surprise. Muscle soreness develops as a result of micro-tears that occur in the tissues of your muscles and this can lead to what is known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This condition arises twelve to twenty-four hours after a severe workout and can linger for the next two or three days. The most common symptoms associated with DOMS include stiffness, sight swelling, and decreased the range of motion at affected joints. You are likely to experience tenderness and reduced strength in the muscles that are affected.
- Pick the Right Workout Program – Picking the right exercise regime will go a long way in determining whether or not you will battle with muscle soreness. When you go for the right training program – with the help of a coach or trainer – you will ease gently into a workout regime that your body can deal with or handle. But if you ignore this important tip, you can push yourself beyond what your body can cope with, which could lead to sore muscles and even more severe problems.
- Stretch – This is your second line of defense after an extreme workout session. Training contracts your muscles and shortens your muscle fibers. When you take steps to lengthen them after a workout, you enhance mobility and reduce the likelihood of muscle soreness.
- Massage – New workouts bring about micro-tears in your muscles and the best way to minimize the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness is to eliminate waste products in your body. This will boost blood circulation, thereby reducing the pain. You can make use of hand-held massage devices which are great for breaking up muscle adhesions and tight spots. Foam rolling with heat helps to relieve sore muscles, absorbs the pressure, and optimizes the rebuilding process of the body. Our Physical Therapy Assistant, Kathryn shows you how to foam roll here.
- Eat right – Your muscles need lots of protein to repair themselves, so eat that are foods rich in omega-3 such as salmon or tuna after your workout. If you don’t like fish, you can take fish supplements. This is because the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 are also effective in decreasing muscle and joint pains after intense workout sessions in the gym.
- Rehydrate – Most fitness enthusiasts may not know this, but one of the factors that play a significant role in muscle soreness is dehydration. Most people working out get chronically sore and this is possible even if you don’t perform any exercise. When you exercise, your water needs increases. How much water you need per time depends on your activity level, where you live, your lifestyle, etc. But the best way to go about it is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. That, of course, is before you start any form of exercise. You should always drink an additional thirty-two ounces of water (on average) for each hour that you perform exercises. This also depends on you, humidity, heat, how intense the exercise is, etc.