Muscle soreness can affect people from all walks of life. While exercise enthusiasts who work out several times per week may feel like they should be immune to muscle soreness, this potentially painful condition that can adversely affect quality of life can fell even the most ardent fitness fanatic.
Those who find themselves routinely battling muscle soreness can employ the following tactics to feel better and enjoy the fruits of their labors in the gym.
• Listen to your body. Daily exercise can greatly benefit long-term health, but it’s important that men and women listen to their bodies, paying attention to any signs that it might be time for a break. Each person is different, but exercise aficionados who recognize any abnormal signs such as unexplained fatigue or cramps may need to take a day off. Bodies need time to recover after a workout.
• Get adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep provides recovery time. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 years of age get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. The NSF recommends adults 65 and older get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night.
• Don’t overdo it. Pushing a body too hard increases a person’s risk of injury or illness. Muscles that are overtaxed will very likely begin to feel a type of pain known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. The American College of Sports Medicine notes that any type of activity that places unaccustomed loads on muscle may lead to DOMS, but activities such as strength training exercises, walking down hills, jogging, step aerobics, and jumping are known examples of contributors to DOMS. Such activities should not necessarily be avoided, but it’s important that men and women not push themselves to the point of overexertion when performing them.
• Stay hydrated. Muscle soreness may appear if men and women are not drinking enough water before, during or after their workouts. A dehydrated body’s muscles do not have enough electrolytes, and that can be contributing to the feelings of soreness some exercise enthusiasts feel. Drink lots of water throughout the day, and don’t forget to bring a water bottle along to the gym when working out.
Muscle soreness can be painful and difficult to deal with. But the solution to address such soreness is oftentimes very simple.