Monday, July 2, 2012

Managing muscle soreness

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a side effect from damage that is caused in the muscle fibers as a result of weight-bearing activity. This damage, called microtrauma, is exactly what we are looking for. The body responds to this damage by repairing the muscle to be stronger than it was before. This is the process that makes us stronger.

The best way to limit muscle soreness is to finish the workout with a 10-minute cooldown of low-intensity cardio. Even if you only use minimal resistance, those muscles should at least be in motion. After your cooldown, go through the stretching that I’ll show you during the session

There are some simple things that can be done in the days following a workout to minimize muscle soreness.
  • Keep moving! That will keep blood flowing so your muscles can heal. 
  • Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more. Just be sure not to stretch aggressively. Aggressive stretching will cause even more microtrauma. 
  • Hydrate. Your body needs fluids to flush the muscles. 
  • Eat plenty of lean protein. Your muscles need that protein to rebuild. 
  • If this still isn't enough, take a moderate amount of ibuprofen. This will help ease the soreness as long as you keep moving. 
Muscle soreness is typically at its greatest from 24 to 36 hours following a workout and can last anywhere from 12 hours to a few days. Once you have been strength training for a few weeks, your body will improve its ability to heal quickly. In the future, you’ll typically be completely healed 48 hours after the workout.

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