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Why Are My Muscles Sore After I Work Out?

Exercise is an important part of a healthy life. But can something so good for you be painful? For some people, yes. But don’t worry—it’s entirely normal to be sore after a new workout.

Delayed onset muscle soreness, also known as DOMS, can happen after a workout and cause sore muscles that may reduce your range of motion.  This tends to peak at around 24-48 hours after the activity. While you may be slightly uncomfortable, it’s just a sign that you’ve pushed your muscles farther than they were previously conditioned to go.  In order to make progress, your muscles need to be challenged by new or increased activities.

DOMS occurs with resistance training and is a result of micro-tears in muscles, which leads to short term inflammation followed by increased blood flow. This process can bring light swelling, reduced range of motion and possible firing of receptors that trigger discomfort.

However, this is only temporary. As you recover, muscle growth is stimulated and, eventually you are able to handle greater loads, making you stronger.

Reducing Muscle Soreness

Even though sore muscles and working out go hand in hand, there are steps you can take to reduce your discomfort as your body recovers from a new workout.

  • Although you may not have guessed it, MORE exercise (of the correct nature!) helps to relieve DOMS. Make sure it’s something gentle like yoga, light cardio or stretching shortly after your DOMS inducing exercise, and continue for a day or so.
  • Warm up your muscles for five minutes longer than you usually do before your next workout.
  • Stay hydrated! It’s important to drink plenty of water on days you work out and days you don’t.
  • A relaxing Epsom salts bath helps draw out the waste products your muscles create after workouts and accelerates your recovery.
  • Give each muscle group adequate time to recover, often 2 – 3 days. There’s no need to work out your legs several days in a row. Instead, focus on legs one day, followed by shoulders, then core.

Want to give your body an even bigger boost for combating muscle soreness, performing optimally and responding to your workouts? Contact our practice to book an appointment and we’ll check and adjust what’s needed to keep your body optimally adapting to life. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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