Soreness can be what intimidates people about exercise. What everyone needs to understand is that some level of soreness should be expected especially if you are new to exercise, if you are increasing the level of intensity to your routine, or if you are trying something new.
Soreness is attributed to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is a common result after strenuous physical activity due to the microscopic damage and tears to the muscle fibers in your body. According to David O. Draper, Professor and Director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, “Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to.” (http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/8336)
Here’s what you need to know.
1. No one is prone to soreness!
There are variations on whether people are more susceptible or less susceptible to soreness depending on genetics, but everyone who exercises experiences some level of fatigue and soreness (just in varying degrees).
2. Be realistic about your level of fitness.
To better manage soreness, you must also understand (and be realistic) about your own level of fitness, like what you’re already or not already doing.
Our muscles have the ability to adapt, which is why you’ll find it much easier to do the same thing over and over again because as we work on a muscle the novelty and challenge of the activity is reduced as our body strengthens and adapts to the movement. The more our muscle adapts to a certain move or type of workout the less stress it is for your muscles to complete the move or activity.
3. The type of exercise you do matters.
This comes down to two things: which muscles you used and the level of intensity of the workout.
You might hear some people who speak about separating their workout routine by leg day, upper body day, etc. This is because focusing on a particular muscle group will cause stress to them and it is better to give these muscles ample rest time before you try and work on them again, as fatigue does impact performance.
The second thing to consider is the intensity of the workout. For example, although both yoga and a circuit session works your core, the level of intensity and therefore the level of stress on your core muscles are severely different.
4. There are ways to ease soreness.
Expect soreness but be proactive about easing the pain and fatigue. Athletes of all levels should be aware how important it is to pay careful attention to how you care for your body after a workout. Nutrition, rest, and stretching are all factors which can help ease the level of soreness experienced.
Consuming adequate amounts of protein pre and post workout will help with easing soreness as protein are building blocks to muscles and is essential to aid in muscle repair (http://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein).
For other tips on recovery, read the 3 Most Underrated Recovery Methods on The Daily Guava.
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