Don’t worry if you’re sore after a work out, this is a good thing! This means you’re successfully pushing yourself and increasing your fitness level. Though it may be a slight nuisance, your stiff muscles will be short lived. Read on as one of Calgary’s best personal trainers explains why this happens, whom it can affect and the best ways to lessen it.

Your muscles tighten and feel sore usually about a day or two after exercising. If you work out regularly, your muscles can still become sore after doing a different exercise routine or even if you intensify and lengthen your usual workout. Your muscles become sore due to delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. Whenever we utilize our muscles in a different way or work them harder, we are essentially tearing them and this generates sore, stiff muscles. The more you workout, the more the pain decreases too.

Sore muscles are simply your body’s way of recovering from the tearing we do during our exercise. Over time, your muscles build, become stronger and reach a higher endurance level. DOMS can affect anyone and everyone, even Olympic athletes and personal trainers who exercise religiously. Since most of us are not Olympians, it’s easy to be deterred by this initial discomfort, but as mentioned it will quickly fade away and get easier over time. Usually within 3-5 days your muscles return to feeling normal again.

There are a few causes of DOMS and they include any movement that forces your muscle to lengthen and contract simultaneously. This is referred to as eccentric muscle contractions and a few examples are: running down a flight of stairs, lowering weights and the downward action or movement of squats and push-ups. There are no specific remedies for sore muscles, but taking anti-inflammatory pills may minimize the pain, using ice packs or even massage can help too. If you want to decrease DOMS from affecting you, the best step you can take is to begin all exercise routines gradually and to pace yourself.

So remember that stiff or sore muscles are actually benefiting your fitness level and they shouldn’t discourage you in any way. Consider them a little pain for a whole lot of gain! If you have any questions concerning sore muscles or want to improve your fitness level, call Calgary personal trainer, Paul Anthony today at 403.612.3538.      

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