Battling delayed onset muscle soreness.
I was just wondering this today. I woke up, ready for bootcamp and I swear my hamstrings hurt even more than yesterday. I probably could have babied them and given my body a break, but I view exercising as a personal investment. I hope you can start to see it that way. When you are working out, whether you are there willingly, out of guilt, or dragged by a friend, make this your mantra:
“Today, I am investing in me. Whether it be mild or intense, baby steps or pushing my limits, I am here for me. There is only one me and I only have one body and I will take care of it.”
I know that delayed onset muscle soreness is a legitimate thing, experienced by many, but I wanted to know why. And I’m guessing you do as well, if you’re still reading this.
So there’s a mix of theories behind why this happens to your body after a workout. Overall, it is said to be micro muscle damage. To my newbies, do not run (or not run) for the hills! See what I did there? 🙂 Muscle damage is a good thing. One thing I’ve learned is that
If you don’t feel pain, you probably won’t see change. That discomfort is the very indication that what you are doing is actually having an affect on your body.
That being said, let’s not ignore common sense. I stop or modify certain exercises all the time and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have micro muscle damage. I would have an injury.
Doctors say various things in regards to treatment for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness.) Some say rest, others say mild exercise to keep the muscles moving. Want my advice? And just to repeat the obvious, I’m not a doctor. This is just my experience in DOMS and I get it a least 2 or 3 times a month with the HIIT and plyometric exercises I do.
- LOTS of water. Add in a gatorade if you like it. I don’t usually drink gatorade because I try to avoid any unnatural sugars, but the electrolytes can actually be beneficiary to DOMS by regulating muscle contraction and nerve function.
- Fight inflammation. I prefer to eat foods with anti-inflammatory properties like cucumber or strawberries. Better yet, if you had a serious sweat sesh, make some homemade infused water with cucumber, lemon and lime. Limes help to protect against arthritis and both lemons and limes are filled with antioxidants and Vitamin C.
- Make sure to stretch before and after your workout. That was probably my biggest mistake the other day. Not enough stretching.
- Get back at it. Here’s your guide: if your muscle hurts with every move you make, you more than likely have injured yourself. If it hurts with pressure or when you are physically using it, then it is probably DOMS. Like when I go to sit down and it feels like someone literally kicked my booty…that’s DOMS. I could have very easily taken it easy today, but I chose to do the exact opposite, and I feel BETTER. Still sore, but a lot better. Getting oxygen flowing to those muscles is a great thing.
To wrap it up, don’t feel discouraged if this happens to you. Whether you’re new to a fitness inspired life, or your life revolves around getting a workout in, it happens to everyone.
And change gives you a sense of accomplishment. It brings on endorphins and positive energy. Yes, I believe the world would be a happier place if we all experiences delayed onset muscle fatigue more often.