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The Do’s and Don’ts of Muscle Soreness

You completed a workout and it was challenging to say the least.
Or you did new movements or movements you may have not done in a while.
Or maybe you just began or are restarting your fitness journey.

You wake up the next day or 2 days later and it hits you as soon as you get out of bed. You..are…sore!

Maybe it’s your legs and getting up and down from the bathroom feels like a whole new challenge.
Or those little stairs you have seem to become like mountains.

Regardless of what body part is, it doesn’t feel normal, natural or comfortable. 

Why exactly do we get sore?
Exercising and putting your body under stress to create change breaks down the current muscle tissue fibers. If this is a relatively new experience, new movement, loading or rep count your tissue breakdown is higher than it is used to.

Is it normal to get sore?

Absolutely! I have been doing CrossFit over 11 years and there are still days where I have to stretch a little extra due to muscle soreness.

The newer something is, the higher the chances you will feel soreness in those muscles in the coming days. However, if you are NOT sore it does not mean you did not get a good workout in or the change isn’t being created.

What exactly should we do when are sore?

Movement- It is crucial to stay moving when sore. Life may demand that we sit at a desk for work so I would suggest getting up every hour for a 2 minute walk.

Water- Take in lots of water. Water helps hydrate our muscles(and other things) and is a big part of keeping muscles loose.

Blood Flow Circulation- Go on a bike ride. Take a walk. Do a light jog for 15 minutes. Do something that promotes blood flow circulation.

Quality Sleep- Sleep is king and 7 to 8 hours is where most cellular repair happens. Want to recover at a faster rate? Be sure you are getting enough sleep.

Mobility- Got a foam roller, massage gun or a tennis ball? Use these items on your sore muscle groups.

Consistency- This is important. To heal faster you have to remain consistent with your training program. Here is what usually happens when we start working out even when we are sore…
1. After warming up and moving around you begin to feel better and loosen up.
2. You can always adjust your workout based on how are feeling that day.
3. Typically what we see is after warming up, a person feels normal within that session.

What NOT to Do :

Inactive All Day- While laying on the couch may seem appealing when you are sore, laying around all day will only make the recovery process take longer.

Little to No H20- Our bodies are 70% water and while I can understand the urge to drink something besides water, it actualluy can be our best friend in helping us recover.

Eating food high in added sugars- Eating highly processed foods and foods with a large amount of added sugars cause our bodies to experience inflammation and will only prolong the recovery process.

Avoid The Gym- I understand the thought behind thinking you need to rest until you are no longer sore. Especially if soreness is something new to you. But similar to what was stated above, doing something is better than doing nothing.