7 Tips on Dealing with Muscle Soreness


Congratulations!! You’ve gotten back into the regime of working out, eating right and feeling GREAT, right? Well, maybe the later isn’t so true if you are just getting back to your fitness and feeling the fruits of your labor.


Muscle soreness!!


Well, if you are demented like me, you may enjoy that feeling and find you actual crave it. Heck, I even push myself through each new Phase of P90X®, in hopes that the following day, I will “feel” it in my muscles. Sick, I know, right?

Well for all women (Mom’s and otherwise) out there, we can stand united in knowing that we can tolerate a lot – kiddie puke, sleepless nights, squealing & fighting and the endless amounts of laundry. Uggh..which reminds me, must get to laundry! LOL. Ok, I digress…

In talking with a lot of new Mom’s or even women that have been sedentary for a while now, they are afraid to getting back to working out, as they just can’t bare the physical pain and restraints that muscle soreness brings on, after they get back to lifting weights or doing any training of sorts. Or think there is something wrong as they experience this muscle soreness. Sound familiar?

Well ladies, listen up! Time to tackle a new obstacle, step out of that comfort zone and EMRACE THE PAIN! Yeah, I said it. Embrace the muscle soreness. As you know why? I like to think of it as a little reward for my hard work in working on MYSELF!

So, you’ve now allowed yourself to EMBRACE THE PAIN. But don’t get me wrong, there is pain and there is pain.

Because of experienced every bit of soreness out there, from the “ok, yeah, I felt that and it’s working for me” to the “holy heck, I can’t walk and I’m in misery”, and all else in between, here are a few tips I picked up from Steve Edwards of The Straight Dope, on how to deal with muscle soreness.

1. ANTICIPATE IT. If you are starting out a new training regime or workout program, you have to expect a certain degree of soreness. So start out with ease and don’t go full bore on Day 1. By day 2 and 3, you can up the ante, knowing what to expect and the result of a day’s hard work.

2. STRETCH. After a good workout and while your muscles are warm, you should allow at LEAST 5 to 10 minutes for a good stretch. This will allow your body time to recuperate and recover quickly. A forethought to this is to be sure BEFORE your workout, you warm up (3-5 mins) and do a quick stretch (3-5 mins) before you hit it. NEVER STRETCH COLD MUSCLES as you run this risk of injury.

3. MASSAGE. And no, I’m not saying you need to rush out to a masseuse after each workout, but if you have that ability, I’m jealous!! But self-massage is just as great. Use a foam roller or any other massage tool to work out the kinks.

4. ICE. As we exercise, our muscles are experience slight tears in the muscle fibers, dubbed “microtrauma”. This is a good thing, as awful as a “tear” sounds. These micro-tears allow our bodies to get stronger and build muscle. But to heal quickly, icing is a great addition to your regime. Icing a body part for up to 20 minutes a day, even a few times a day, can do a body good, not to mention, promote proper circulation.

5. EAT WELL. Your body craves proper nutrition to function as a well oiled machine. Even more so, as it’s working frantically to recover. Don’t go through the effort of hard work in your fitness, just to go scarf down a McDonald’s Big Mack. Bleh!! Good core nutrition will aid in proper recovery, not to mention promote weight loss versus reaching for the junk. Remember, within about an hour of your workout, be sure to get some complex carbs and a protein in your system. These will seek out the wailing muscle fatigue and work to mend it.

6. WORKOUT. Yes, keep at it. Although the pain may be barking at you and that devil is saying “NO, NO MORE”, but keep charging. The more you keep up with your regime, the better of and more conditioned your body will be in response to muscle fatigue and soreness. Keeping with the momentum not only keeps you on track to your weight loss and/or strength training goals, but again, maintains circulation to keep the body useful for you.

7. EMBRACE THE PAIN. Yup, I said it. Embrace it. Own it. Love it. And although muscle soreness may be foreign to some, relish in it. Why? Because a) you know it’s only short lived, b) it can be thought of your badge of honor and c) the more you can stick with it, the stronger you’ll be and closer you’ll get to your goals.

Moral of the story, don’t let a little muscle soreness derail your ultimate goal. You are WORTH is as a new Mom, seasoned Mom, non-Mom, new Dad, seasoned Dad, former athlete or new fitness buff.

To learn more about Steve Edwards and his passion for good health, nutrition and fitness, you can visit his blog at: http://steve-edwards.blogspot.com/

Your partner in health & fitness.

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