By Kelly Lewis, CPT
“Ouch!” “I can barely walk!” “I’m never working out again!” Chances are good that if you have started an exercise program recently, you are feeling a little (or a lot!) sore. When we challenge our muscles in new ways, they tend to let us know it. Most of us have experienced that type of discomfort at some point in our lives. We jump wholeheartedly into a new workout routine with unbridled excitement, but it doesn’t take long before we can barely get out of bed.
Why such pain?
This feeling is actually a very normal process called DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. When our muscles get challenged in new and unique ways, it creates tiny, microscopic tears in the muscle fibers, causing them to feel sore and stiff. This type of soreness is normal and is actually a sign of improved fitness. DOMS typically peaks 48 hours after a workout and can last up to 5 days. Do not let this deter your efforts! Allow this discomfort to assure you that you are on the right track!
It’s our natural tendency to want to back off our new routine when the soreness sets in. Yet, this is actually the worst thing we can do. It feels counter-intuitive, but the best medicine for those achy muscles is, you guessed it…another workout! Getting the muscles warmed up and moving again will help with the healing process and allow your body to adapt to the new demands you’ve placed on it. In the long run, this will lead to greater stamina and strength.
We can’t dismiss the importance of flexibility when it comes to personal fitness. Flexibility is particularly vital when it comes to dealing with muscle soreness. The only way to improve one’s flexibility is to add stretching to your workout routine. Once intense soreness has set in, it is often too late to benefit from stretching. A stretching routine 5–7 days a week is a valuable piece of our fitness regimen. Flexibility keeps our muscles prepared to accept whatever we throw at them and helps us remain injury-free.
The bottom line is that dealing with the discomfort of a new workout routine can be frustrating. Once we understand the cause of the pain and the benefits it can provide, we must simply push through. We need to continuously challenge our muscles in new ways. This not only produces results, but helps us avoid fitness- and weight-loss-plateaus. If there is one thing more frustrating than achy muscles, it’s remaining dedicated to your workouts and not seeing results. I guess the old cliché is true…“No pain, No gain!”
2014 is going to be a very exciting year for C3 Fitness. I look forward to both growth and change over the next 12 months. C3 Fitness is thrilled to announce that Renate Van Staden has joined the staff and she will be offering both personal training and boot camps at the C3 studio. As an AFAA certified personal trainer, Renate will be focusing on evening and Saturday services to provide clients with expanded training opportunities. Check the website at c3fitnessnc.com for further details!!!
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