You have heard the sayings: no pain, no gain, or learn to embrace the pain. Another one is celebrate the challenges, it’s when change is taking place. They conceptually say the same thing, the bottom line is you do have to have some level of discomfort before you see changes.
We all have stories in our past of hard situations that once we work through them had silver linings. The same is true when building muscles.
I did a harder upper body circuit training workout the other day and my pecs and deltoids were sore. Sometimes, after a more strenuous run, my legs are achy for the next day. Even though muscles are sore, this normal soreness is good news. It is a sign that you are getting stronger.
For muscle fibers to grow, one must create increased stress on the muscles during a workout. When completed, rest and fuel are then required for muscles to regenerate and grow.
Suggestions on how to handle sore muscles:
- Drink plenty of water-water helps with muscle soreness and tension. It flushes toxins out of the body and transports nutrients into cells.
- Rest sore muscles-rest helps to generate new growth.
- Gentle stretching- stretching helps keep muscles healthy, strong, and flexible.
- Do a light exercise, keep moving-light exercise will help increase blood flow bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients which aid in healing.
- Get a good night’s sleep-sleep helps in building new muscles and gives muscles time to relax which can reduce pain.
- Massage or Foam Roller-these help healing with blood circulation and relaxation
It is hard to predict if muscle soreness can be prevented. However, making the above suggestions part of your routine are ways that you can handle soreness and they can aid in prevention of future soreness. Prepare your body for exercise by doing an adequate warmup and cool down. If you are just starting your journey, always check with your Dr. first. Also, best practice is to start out slow. As a coach, I can help guide you in this adventure! Remember to learn to embrace the pain, it’s where the magic happens.