Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can You Be Too Sore To Workout?

Rolling out of bed with throbbing muscles proves yesterday’s workout was a challenge.  But what does that ache mean for your next workout session? 
While it’s tempting to suck it up and power through the pain for the sake of a good sweat, exercising sore muscles could spoil that workout and might even lead to injury.
Dull pain after a workout results from microscopic tears in muscle fibers caused by intense activity they’re not used to performing.  Which when this happens it usually leads to- Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or "DOMS." This occurs when muscle pain doesn’t completely set in until 24 to 48 hours after exercise.  When the pain limits strength or range of motion, it’s best to take a hint from our bodies and give them a day or two off.  Working out damaged muscles often opens the door for further injury and setbacks in a routine.

The pain we feel from DOMS means, muscles have been pushed harder than normal, and the body just needs time to recover. When torn muscle fibers rebuild, they need time to heal.  That time can take anywhere from 2-4 days.   
What about light exercise on sore muscles or low impact like walking?  When DOMS is happening any pain relief from light exercise will likely be for a brief moment.  And be warned that if the muscle hurts to the touch or is seriously limiting mobility, you may be overtraining…..whoops!  In this case it is best to stay out of the gym for a bit longer.  Which is exactly what I knew I needed to do. 

What can you do to help with soreness or speed up recovery and alleviate DOMS?

My first suggestion is always an Ice Bath!  Cold temperatures will restrict blood vessels (reduce swelling) and slow down the process of tissue breakdown.
Next, I would say to foam roll and stretching.  A deep tissue massage will break up that lactic acid, loosen up the muscles and keep the blood flowing.
And drinking some BCAAs following a workout is also great for muscle recovery!


I do legs on Friday and this past Friday I got home and had enough time to change out of my gym clothes, feed and dress my kids and be out the door for my nephews baseball tournament.  Saturday morning was the exact same way.  But shame on me for not doing any of this when I got home on Friday.  By the time Saturday rolled around I was too miserable to even think.  Shamed to admit but I was even sore to the touch on the entire fronts of my legs.  I could barely sleep at nights all weekend because it hurt to lay on my sides and especially my stomach.  I had to wait for my husband to get home from work to carry the laundry from the basement to our room…..RIDICULOUS!!!

Monday morning rolled around and I was still sore.  So opted out of the gym for another day.  At this point it had been almost 3 days since leg day and I was feeling like some light walking may do me good.  I walked to my grandmas down the street and mowed her lawn and then walked home.  By the end of Monday I was feeling a lot better.

I think I learned my lesson to take care of my body but I am also proud of myself for listening to my body and taking the time it needed.

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