One thing we fear in exercise is being in pain. Which is weird because we are constantly yelling “Feel the burn!”, “Pain is weakness leaving the body!” or “No pain no gain!” There is truth in these statements, but being sore the next day from a workout, especially to the point it hurts isn’t much fun.
So what should you do if you are sore from a work out?
Exercise again! I know it sounds weird, but the best cure to DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is to exercise over top of it.
So this is what happens. During your exercising your muscles get broken down. In about 24 to 72 hours your muscles are in their prime rate of healing. During this phase your body doesn’t want to move, so it sends a signal to the brain as pain to tell you to stop moving! The problem with not moving is that you aren’t really helping the muscles, you want them to get bigger, more lean and more flexible so you have to keep moving.
When you exercise again, it is similar to the stretching concept, your body assumes the new state is the normal and adjusts to it. Our bodies are very adaptive. It is called the SAID principle, Specific Adaptation to an Imposed Demand, or Wolff’s Law. Our bodies will adjust themselves to the new demands, because that is what we are good at doing, this concept is how braces work in remodeling your jaw to allow your teeth to line up.
Know Your Body
You must know the difference between being sore and being injured. If you exercise when you are injured all you will do is make the injury worse. It is OK to rest! In fact the best way to heal is to rest, think back to the beginning of this post, if you rest your sore muscles they will go back to the way they were. It all comes full circle.
If you have any questions on ways you recover from sore muscles please let me know. Leave a message in the comments. I am always down to learn new things and techniques!