Most of us have been there at some point. We've dug deep, and worked our butts off in our new workout (or new routine), and then we wait.....and without disappointing, there it hits! That moment when the toilet seems miles away, the stairs- well, are they ever gonna stop? and your limbs feel like they're coated in lead!! Yep you've got DOMS!
Love them or hate them, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is a very common after effect of working out, hitting between 12-24 hours after a workout and lasting anything from 1-5 days! But why does it happen?
Some theories suggest it's due to tiny microscopic tears in the muscle fibres and it's these tears that cause the pain. It seems to be suggested also that it happens with the inclusion of lots of eccentric movements (lengthening of the muscle) or high intensity exercise. Whatever it is, it can be pretty darn sore, agreed?
So, how can you help prevent or alleviate DOMS?
Well, building itensity slowly in your workout program MIGHT help, this would allow the muscle fibres time to adapt to their new workload. Making sure your muscles are thoroughly warmed up beforehand probably wouldn't go amiss either! But all in all, I think it's a case of finding something that works for you to help the symptoms.
The things I find help ME are:
1. Making sure I have a protein snack after my workouts. Protein is required by the body to aid in the growth & repair of tissue, cells and muscle, so it can't go amiss right?
2. Making sure I'm adequately hydrated, before, during and after my workouts because, well, water is life! Our bodies need to stay properly hydrated in order to function, and after working out we need to replace any fluids we have lost. Simples!
3. This is probably my favourite! Epsom salt baths. Oh my gosh, you just can't beat a steep after a tough session! It is believed that the magnesium in the salts, absorbed through the skin, can help alleviate muscle pain and tension. For me, it definitely helps heaps! Apparently it's good for other things too, but definitely worth checking out if it's safe for you if you have any medical conditions.
4. When all else fails I break out my trusty foam roller. For me, this brings such relief you wouldn't believe! It's a love-hate relationship with Roly, but for us, it works 😉
So there you have it! If you have any comments or tips that work for you, please comment below, I'd love to know.