Sore muscles after exercising: Is it normal?

Doms

Having delayed onset muscle soreness is common after exercise but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. It usually means that your muscles are getting stronger. 

Mild soreness is a natural occurrence after any kind of physical activity most frequently experienced in the beginning stages of a program. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, also known as DOMS is a common result of physical activity as our muscles go through quite a bit of physical stress when we exercise. 

A common result of physical activity causes tissue to stress beyond what it’s accustomed to. It’s perfectly normal to experience this discomfort between 24-48 hours post activity and it can be the body’s signal to the brain that it needs a rest. 

DOMS occurs when the muscle is performing an eccentric contraction or lengthening contraction. For example, running downhill or the lengthening portion of a bicep curl. During this action, a small microscopic tear occurs in the muscle – this creates damage to the muscle fibres. The aches and pains are a result of this and indicate that the muscles are adapting to a new fitness program or regime.      

 

5 Easy tips to speed up recovery and reduce DOMS:

Get more sleep

Sleep deprivation can have significant negative effects on recovery for all performance levels. 

Drink plenty of water

Exercising while dehydrated can cause greater damage to muscles and reduce the body’s ability to repair itself. Water is usually enough for most individuals looking to replenish fluids. 

Make foam rolling your friend

Rolling out muscles with a foam roller or spikey ball can help remove knots and prevent muscle imbalances from forming. 

Gentle stretching

When muscles are in recovery mode they tend to tighten up which leads to feelings of soreness. Slow, gentle stretching of the area will relive that tight feeling and diffuse pain. 

Light massage

Massaging a sore muscle can help reduce tightness while promoting blood flow which will help speed recovery and shorten the duration of DOMS.

 

 

 

 

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Katherine Maslen

Author

Hey, I’m Katherine Maslen, naturopath, nutritionist, host of The Shift podcast, author and renegade for health.
Since completing 2 bachelor degrees in health science over 12 years ago, I’ve been helping peeps just like you to be their best through awesome health. I’ve spent most of this time one on one in clinical practice – in the trenches with my clients to navigate them through the minefield that is imperfect health.

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