Were your muscles a little sore after working out last week? This type of muscle stiffness or achiness is normal, doesn’t last long, and is actually a sign of your improving fitness. Sore muscles after physical activity is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is common when beginning a new exercise program, changing your exercise routine, or increasing the duration or intensity of your regular workout.
When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to, or in a different way, it is believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness. The good news is that the pain will decrease as your muscles get used to the new physical demands being placed upon them. The soreness is part of an adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build. Unless you push yourself hard, you’re unlikely to develop delayed onset muscle soreness after your next exercise session. This sort of muscle pain should not be confused with any kind of pain you might experience during exercise, such as the acute, sudden and sharp pain of an injury, such as muscle strains or sprains.
There is no one simple way to treat delayed onset muscle soreness. Nothing is proven to be 100% effective. Treatments such as ice packs, tender-point acupressure, anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, rest and topical pain relievers may help ease some of the symptoms. We’ve included a sample of Tiger’s Balm and Icy Hot should you experience any delayed onset muscle soreness.
Exercise your way to a healthier happier you
Each workout is a challenge for your body and each new type of training will bring you closer to achieving your goals. That’s how you build muscle, burn fat and improve your stamina.
Workouts and movement in general don’t just make you more fit, they also improve your mood by stimulating the happiness hormone, serotonin. Serotonin helps you keep your inner balance. Serotonin’s counterpart, the “stress hormone” cortisol, is decreased through exercise and helps you leave your everyday stresses behind.
Exercise boosts the happy hormone dopamine and your metabolism. Muscles not only burn fat, they also strengthen the immune system and help lower high blood pressure and have a positive effect on energy levels.