How To Overcome Muscle Soreness

By: totalactivation
I get asked this question often - how can I minimize soreness after exercise, especially after aerobic activities like jogging?

First, let's understand a little bit about exercise intensity. The intensity at which you exercise will determine what you get out of it. If your goal is to lose body fat, then you need to exercise at a different intensity compared to someone who trains to build muscle / tone up. More importantly, should you feel pain in your muscles the day after you exercise? What about the type of pain that is felt 2, or even days following exercise? The answers to these questions hold the key to help determine whether or not you get the right results from exercise

Unlike bones and joints, muscles have a profuse blood supply, and can regenerate and respond faster to the overload of exercise. Therefore, the goal of exercise should be to strengthen muscles (which can cause soreness) and not to overload bones and joints (which can cause pain and injuries). Typically, weight training causes soreness (which means muscles recover from the strain of the exercise and become stronger) and aerobic exercise like walking, cycling and swimming does not cause soreness (since the muscles are not strained to the same extent).

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SORENESS AND PAIN.

Soreness usually occurs the day after exercise, due to injury to the muscle fibers. Stored chemicals are released when the muscle is damaged, generating further pain. Thats why the soreness sometimes tends to get worse 1 to 3 days after a workout. This is a phenomenon called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).It usually happens if you try new exercises, or overstrain yourself lifting weights. It is completely normal.

Also, the pain of soreness is usually a dull, aching pain, in the muscles that were challenged. Generally, soreness is a feeling of mild discomfort and not necessarily pain. It is important to note that soreness subsides with rest. Here is the most important part - Over a period of time, the same exercise causes less and less soreness, as the muscles adapt to it. This means that it is important to change exercise every 3-4 weeks.

Pain, on the other hand, generally occurs after the exercise and tends to persist. As things get worse, some exercises begin to hurt. You might find that you start avoiding certain movements altogether. Every fitness enthusiast should recognize pain, and avoid training inspite of pain . This is a common mistake, which invariably leads to injuries. Unlike soreness, pain gets progressively worse if it is ignored. Do not be tough and try to work through it.

PAIN PREVENTION PLAN -

Improper technique, equipment, and training are major causes of pain and consequently injury. When you feel pain, use RICE (instead of paying the price.)

RICE is an acronym for the following.

Rest.
Avoid any painful exercise for a short while. For example, avoid walking if you have an ankle sprain.

Ice.
Use an ice pack, crushed ice in a towel, to reduce swelling and pain. Do not use for more than 10-15 minutes. Post workout icing is effective in reducing soreness.

Compression.
Tie a crepe bandage / handkerchief around the injured part, firm but not too tight, to minimize swelling.

Elevation.
Keeping the body part elevated also helps to minimize swelling.

WARNING SIGNS.

Seek immediate diagnosis from a physician if the pain :-

Persists after 12 to 48 hours of ice and rest.
Is sharp and limits movement.
Is accompanied by numbness, weakness or swelling in the joint.
Pain indicates distress to the body - listen and take action. RICE or a timely trip to the doctor may lead to a few short days of rest. This is a lot better than getting hurt due to ignorance.

Good luck with these strategies! Go ahead and apply them. Do not allow aches and pains affect your gains!
Top Searches on
Fitness
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Fitness