We can all experience some aches and pains when we’re training. The discomfort you feel 24 hours or more after exercising is commonly known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is the result of micro tears to your muscle fibres caused by excessive or new exercise. It’s common when you’re just starting a new routine or if you push yourself too hard.
Those tiny little tears signal the immune system to release white blood cells to start the repair process. The white blood cells release chemicals and enzymes, which cause those aches and pains. A lot of people think that the pain is just the body’s way of telling you that your training is working but there are a few ways to reduce DOMS so you don’t get demotivated.
Think of muscle pain as your body’s way of saying you need a break. Taking a short break from your workout will give your muscles time to heal and it is an important step that many people skip. Take a rest day so the compounding workouts don’t leave your muscles fatigued and sore. Resting the area for a few days can help prevent injury and is why most trainers recommend training specific body parts throughout the week and not all on the same day.
Stretch it out
Another step that people tend to skip is stretching. You should be fully preparing your body for exercise (which will reduce the effects of DOMS) before your workout by doing an extended warm-up and stretch routine. Take the time to do some dynamic stretches before your workout starts and follow up with static stretches. This will make sure the muscle fibres are loose and warm which means less pain.
Drink more water
Hydration is important throughout your workout to prevent cramping and decrease muscle soreness after exercise. Water is always the best choice but if you are sweating excessively, try replacing electrolytes by drinking a sports drink along with your water. Don’t train in the hottest parts of the day and increase the amount of water your drink if the weather is hot or you are more active than usual.
Use a foam roller
Like a massage, applying pressure with a foam rollers can increase the blood flow to your muscles and give you the same results as a deep tissue massage. Focus on the areas that you are feeling the most pain. Don’t rush through your post-workout routine, give each muscle the attention it needs to recover.
Fish-oil can actually reduce muscle soreness and ease inflammation up to 48 hours after a strength-training workout. Omega 3 fatty acids are found naturally in foods like salmon, spinach, and nuts. And, they can help boost your circulation and reduce inflammation. Try adding some salmon or nuts to your post-workout meal to reduce any delayed muscle soreness.
Remember, this month we are supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation at our CardioTech Kiosks with our “Walk a Kilometre in Their Shoes” campaign. Have a walk on one of our treadmills during October and we will donate $1 to the foundation. Together we can make breast cancer a thing of the past.