Should you worry about Muscle Soreness?

muscle soreness

Muscle soreness post exercise is common to persons who are just starting out on a weight training program.   Beginners will usually experience muscle soreness post exercise since their bodies are not accustomed to lifting weights.  Muscle soreness post exercise also affects the more seasoned weightlifters who have increased exercise intensity above the level that their body is used to.

Muscle damage is the consequence of training your body above the capacity that it can handle, which results in soreness and inflammation of one’s muscles.  If you are healthy then there is nothing to worry about, as your body will start the process to heal itself.  Muscle soreness post exercise or more popularly, “delayed onset muscle soreness” (DOMS), is not the result of the build up of lactic acid, but the damage done to your muscles during your workout.  If you are sore for a prolonged period of time, say over 7 days, it would be best to consult a doctor to find out if any thing is wrong.  In most circumstances, soreness is normal and it will go away after a few days or so.

The soreness is due to fluid build up caused by the rush of immune cells to clear away damaged muscle tissue.  The side effect of this is a build up of free radicals, which ironically might cause the problem to get worse.  Free radicals can cause illnesses and infections, but taking antioxidants prevents this, therefore, taking antioxidants is highly recommended when participating in any weight training activity.  Antioxidants can be obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables but one can also supplement with multivitamins.

Proper recovery time needs to be given to the damaged muscle, or else you will just be breaking down the newly formed muscle tissue which is being built, which means your muscles will not be given any chance to repair.  Sore muscles may last from 3 – 4 days, and may even take as long as 7 days to subside.  The best solution for sore muscles is proper rest, hydration and taking antioxidants.  In the meantime, it is important that you do not put your muscles under undue stress, nevertheless, low activity exercises might help the rehabilitation.  Helpful recovery methods could also include massages or a warm bath.

So the next time you come home from the gym feeling pumped up and wake up the very next day extremely sore do not panic.  It may simply be a sign that you might be becoming stronger.  As long as you heed the advice put forward in this article you will be okay.

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