Sometimes new clients tell us, “I loved my first workout at your Dunedin Gym, but I am SO SORE! What can I do?”
Anyone who has ever worked out knows that the next day can be pretty sore. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that this soreness is actually a good thing! When your muscles feel sore after a workout, it means that they are getting stronger. To alleviate this soreness, there are a few things you can do.
Drink Water to Help with Muscle Soreness
First, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Our bodies are made up mostly of water, and staying hydrated helps flush out all the toxins that can build up and cause inflammation. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day—but if you’ve been working out then double or even triple that amount!
Prevent Muscle Soreness with Light Activity After Your Workout
Try to stay active even after your worko
ut is done. It’s tempting to just collapse on the couch after a long workout, but doing some light activity can actually help to prevent muscle soreness. The key is to keep your m
uscles moving without overworking them. A leisurely walk is a great option. You can also try some light stretching or calisthenics. The important thing is to keep your body moving and your muscles warm. This will help to prevent the lactic acid build-up that can lead to stiffness and pain. So next time you’re tempted to just veg out after a workout, remember that a little light activity can go a long way toward preventing muscle soreness.
Relax Your Sore Muscles with Massage Therapy or Acupuncture
After a strenuous workout, your muscles are often sore and in need of relaxation. Two popular methods of relaxation are massage therapy and acupuncture. Both techniques work by increasing circulation and stimulating endorphin production—which helps reduce pain while also promoting relaxation! If massage isn’t an option for you (or if it’s too expensive), there are plenty of self-massage tools available on the market that can give you similar results without breaking the bank.
What to Expect When You Start a Workout Program
Starting a workout program at your Dunedin gym can be challenging. Making the time to exercise, following instructions from your Fitness Coach, and setting goals are hard enough, but now you have the muscle soreness that comes with adapting to that regimen. It can all be a little overwhelming.
After participating in some kind of strenuous physical activity, particularly something new to your body, it is common to experience muscle soreness, according to the experts. “Muscles go through quite a bit of physical stress when we exercise,” says Rick Sharp, professor of exercise physiology at Iowa State University in Ames. “Mild soreness is just a natural outcome of any kind of physical activity,” he says. “And it is most prevalent in the beginning stages of a program.”
Why We Get Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Exercise physiologists refer to the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it is perfectly normal.
“Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to,” says David O. Draper, professor and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
To be more specific, delayed onset muscle soreness occurs when the muscle is performing an eccentric, or lengthening contraction, also called the “negative” portion of the repetition. If you are doing bicep curls, for example, when you bend your elbow and lift the weight to your shoulders, that is the “positive” portion of the repetition. When you lower the weight to return it to the starting position, that is the “negative” portion of the repetition, and that is the only part that makes you sore.
But the Negative is also the most productive portion of the repetition in terms of increasing your muscular size and strength, so don’t even think about trying to avoid it by only doing the lifting part :).
Ease Those Aching Muscles
So what can you do to alleviate the pain? Patty breaks down how to alleviate the muscle soreness you got from your last Dunedin gym workout.
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