It often seems inevitable; if you exercise, you’re probably going to experience sore muscles at some point. Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, usually appears between 24 and 48 hours after a workout. While most cases of DOMS are mild, sometimes you might feel so sore that you don’t want to continue exercising for a few days… And of course, we don’t want that! Staying active is one of the keys to weight loss and better health.
They key to preventing DOMS is to start your workout routine gently, and gradually increase your difficulty as you get fit. Diving right in and wearing yourself out on the first day of a new exercise routine is almost like asking for three days of soreness and stiffness! But even if you’re careful, you might still experience sore muscles from time to time.
Stretch. After your workout, remember to spend five or ten minutes gradually cooling down. Perform more gentle movements, and remember to stretch. The next morning, also spend a few minutes stretching as soon as you wake up (in fact, this is a good routine to continue regardless of muscle soreness).
Keep moving, even when you’re sore. You might feel tempted to relax, or be overly cautious with moving your sore muscles. This is exactly the wrong thing to do, as lack of movement will only create more stiffness and soreness. You definitely don’t want to dive into a super intense workout if you’re feeling extra crampy, but a gentler workout like walking or yoga is definitely appropriate.
Fuel your body appropriately. Your soreness is partly due to muscle breaking down and rebuilding themselves, so make sure you give them the right fuel. After a tough workout, your next meal should offer plenty of protein and some complex carbs. Proper nutrition will actually speed your healing time and cut down on soreness.
On that note, give us a call to discuss your nutritional needs. Whether you want to pursue a weight loss plan, or simply maintain your weight and get into better shape, we can help. Learning to balance your diet correctly can be the key to living a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life.