FAQ: What Can I Do About Soreness?

You’ve likely been there before – and maybe you’re there right now.

You start a new exercise routine, play a game of soccer with your kids, or just have to put in a bit of extra effort in the yard – then wake up the next morning and EVERYTHING HURTS!

So what can you do about it?

First, let’s back up and talk about what causes soreness – and there are different theories to explain this. In my opinion, the most likely cause is through damage done to the muscle and connective tissues. In all honesty, “damage” is probably too strong of a word, it’s more of a micro-trauma.

For those unaware this is how the body responds to the demands that we place on ourselves. Micro-tears develop in muscles & tendons, then are repaired through proper nutrition, rest, and recovery.

Your muscles and tendons seem to acclimate and respond better with exposure, meaning that soreness will almost always be worse with an activity or pattern that is new to your body. So to minimize this, gradually introduce new activities. Don’t step into the gym for the first time in 10 years and spend an hour getting after the heavy weights, this will not go well.

What you’re trying to avoid – Courtesy of Muscleandstrength.com

So what can you actually do about soreness?

  1. Prevent it – introduce new activities gradually. This sets you up with the absolute best chance for long term success. You’ll actually feel like going back to the gym instead of not being able to get to the toilet.
  2. Keep moving! Surprising as it may be but this is the absolute best thing you can do when you’re sore. Moving helps as it pumps blood (and nutrients) through the muscles when they need it most! Work with lighter resistance if you feel you need to (but often your body will auto-regulate that for you).
  3. Stretch – After your workout is over or to begin your next day, however you wish to do it, just get it done. Moving through a full range of motion keeps our connective tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) more pliable & supple – reducing stiffness and any excessive micro-trauma. If you need some direction on your stretches we have plenty on our Youtube channel.
  4. Feed your body! Your muscles and tendons have to repair any damage done. Your body accomplishes this by utilizing the macro and micro-nutrients from your food. If you are under eating (or eating garbage) your body will not have what it needs to make these repairs in a timely manner. This means dealing with soreness longer than you have to.
  5. Hot bath – This is likely the 1 that most were expecting to see, more specifically an epsom salt bath. The efficacy of the epsom salt addition is still debatable, but the hot water absolutely works to promote blood flow through the recovering tissues (much like exercise would).

Hope you found this helpful, send any questions you may have to staff@penancegym.com

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