A great workout can invigorate the mind and body, but those post-workout aches and pains can be a major drag. Plus, muscle soreness can be difficult to assess. How do you know when to get back to the gym and when you should head to the doctor’s office? We’re here to discuss what you need to know about muscle soreness, so you can keep working toward your fitness goals with total peace of mind!
Building muscle is a complex process. When you work hard at the gym, your muscles undergo tiny tears within the fibers. This may sound scary, but it’s perfectly natural. As your muscles repair themselves, your tissues become slightly inflamed. You may feel soreness immediately, but many athletes also notice delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that strikes the next day. Over time, your body will adapt to your workout and become stronger!
While a bit of muscle soreness is sometimes inevitable, you can do your part to exercise safely to avoid discomfort down the line. Of course, proper hydration and nutrition are essential. But, what else should you do?
- Proper warm-up exercises will help prepare the muscle for your workout, so your body can ease into strenuous activity.
- Foam rolling increases circulation in your body and helps to break down knots in the muscle.
- A good cool-down eases your muscles out of activity after a hard gym session, so you can return to your day refreshed.
What if your muscle soreness is cramping your style? Different athletes swear by different options. Here are some things to consider:
- Getting up and moving can be the simplest way to alleviate soreness. Take a walk to get the blood flowing.
- A good massage can help improve your symptoms, plus it’s a great way to unwind after a long week.
- If your soreness persists past two days, consider setting up an appointment with your doctor. It could be an injury!
Try a New Workout Today!
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