24 Sep Avoiding Soreness
I spoke to a group of post surgery patients recently and the question came up about soreness after exercise. The participant asked “how to avoid soreness after working out?” We in the exercise industry refer to this as D.O.M.S. or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Simply put, it happens a day or two after a difficult workout and is often related to working out too hard. It is a question I get asked regularly and it is a common reason people avoid exercise all together. I understand, no-one wants to feel soreness after exercise. Muscle soreness is terrible, everything aches, it’s hard to move quickly and simple movements are difficult. Exercise is an awesome way to help recover from surgery if done appropriately but overdo it and it’s not fun at all.
Here are my top 5 tips to feel good after you work out and avoid soreness.
Heating up your muscles is the way we let them know they are going to exercise. It increases circulation and sends blood with nutrients to our body parts. It is imperative that you take the 5-10 mins at the beginning of your workout to warm up. Do dynamic movements such as, marching, jogging in place, arm circles and gentle twists. These movements should be less than full range of motion and are half of full intensity. Learn more on warming up here.
Workout in your “Green” zone.
We use a physical therapy perceived exertion scale called the “stoplight method”. It is a simple way to determine how hard you should move while exercising. I remember when I was a kid and played “Red light green light”. It was so fun to run like crazy until the traffic officer said “RED LIGHT”. The adults in our society often have just forgotten how to play. They think they have to hurt to get a good workout. Where in my opinion it is just a plain lie. The old saying “no pain no gain” is garbage. In fact, I say “pain equals no gain” and it is a direct path to soreness. So if you want to feel good and avoid soreness stop running through red lights. Here is a quick scale for you to use.
Yellow (major discomfort and burning)=slow down
Green (warmness, slight discomfort)=Go.
If you have trouble listening to your internal traffic officer and would like help remembering what the green zone feels like, give us a call and schedule an evaluation with us. We will give you the exact amount of exertion you should take while exercising.
Slow down and stretch at the end of your workout.
Stretching at the end of your workout for 5-10 minutes will increase your range of motion, your mobility and release extra energy stores in your muscles that often cause soreness. We suggest you stretch all of the muscles you worked during your workout for 20-30 seconds. If you do not like to stretch ask for help. There are people that can help guide you, try working with an educated personal trainer, Yoga class, find a stretch class or my personal favorite assisted stretching. There are centers like StretchSource where they guide your body through assisted stretching. It feels like what I imagine a rag-doll would feel like or yoga for the lazy man.
Hydrate with water and hydrating foods.
Giving your body an easy way to flush out toxins will increase your recovery time. Blood flow to exercising muscles is significantly reduced with dehydration due to reductions in blood pressure and perfusion pressure(1). A few examples are fruit infused water like homemade lemon or lime water, cucumbers, and of course watermelon. I have my list of 6 top hydrating foods here
Get enough sleep daily.
The average adult requires 7-8 hours a night. A lack of sleep will not only negatively impact your metabolism but it will also impact your ability to recover. Our bodies are excellent machines that will flush out what you no longer need but you need to give it enough time.
For more information about exercise at home or online or corporate exercise programs give us a call at 862-251-8989 and we can help you.