Making a plan and executing that plan are two totally different things. And “the plan” to hit the gym to get your body with ‘unevenly distributed weight’ in shape is just like “the plan” of a road trip you make with your friends. When the day to execute your plan comes, you end up sitting on your couch binge-watching Netflix with a hamburger in your left hand and a coke on the right. I can totally relate to this scenario. Been there, done that. You just never know, when you really gonna leave your lazy-ass attitude and move to workout.
But, after postponing the plan for over 2 months, you finally decide to do justice to the yearly-subscription of your gym. You stomp the gym with all the motivation and energy. You are focused and confident, and start working out. You complete your first session at the gym and head back to your place and enjoy the day. And that’s where it all starts. The muscle soreness, inflammation, cramps, body ache. Just after a few hours of your first gym session. I remember how my body felt after the first gym session in the morning. Especially after 20-24 hours. The pain and cramps can make you feel frustrated as it can make it hard for you to concentrate on work. But have you ever wondered, what causes this problem?
What Causes This Soreness?
The soreness you feel after you workout after a long period of gap or start a new workout session is normal. But if this uncomfortable feeling gets too far, it can cause more trouble than it normally does. It can bring you to a point where you start thinking to yourself, “Do I really need to do this”. This is a trick that exercises and workouts play with you. If you want great muscles, you need to break them down in the beginning, and then the real magic starts. If you want to strengthen your muscles, you have to go through this pain. You must have heard, “no pain, no gain.”
When you start a new workout session, your muscles take time to get used to it. Your muscle fiber and connective tissue suffer some small injuries in the starting. These small injuries cause delayed muscle soreness. This type of soreness is known as “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness,” or DOMS. Whether you are running after a long break or lifting some weight for the first time, you will probably suffer this soreness. DOMS is basically due to the diffuse tiny injuries to the muscle fiber and inflammation associated with it.
What Can You do to Deal With This Muscle Soreness?
Give it some time. This the first piece of advice you should take. The best cure for muscle soreness and body aches due to the workout or exercise is time. The DOMS can last up to 3-4 days. But, you can help yourself by doing a few other remedies to get some relief from the pain and soreness. Here’s a list of those things you can try to help yourself while waiting for your muscles to get relief naturally.
Move a Little
Muscle soreness can tempt you to stick to your couch or lie down the whole day long. Going to the washroom to pee can also look like a big task when you are dealing with soreness. But, don’t fall for this and move around. Not much, but at least get and walk a bit. This is really important for the circulation of blood throughout your body. The blood flow in your body can reduce the time taken by your muscles to repair. The blood carries oxygen and important nutrients to your muscle tissue. The main components amongst them are amino acids that act as the “building blocks” when it comes to muscle repair. This will ultimately reduce DOMS faster as the nutrients reach the muscle tissue and fiber faster. Just the gentle movement like walking around can help you. Motivate yourself, “you got this, buddy” should be your motto.
Drink as Much as possible
Drink and hydrate yourself. Mark my words, this is very important. Everyone knows how important water is for the proper functioning of our body. But, it must be a mystery to you, how hydrating yourself is related to muscle soreness. Studies show, if you keep yourself well-hydrated, you can get relief from DOMS sooner, and the level of soreness may also decrease. During the muscle breakdown, many waste products and toxins are released. Water helps in flushing out the waste and filter out these waste products of your body. These waste products can increase soreness and hence need to be flushed out.
Light Stretching is Important
Focus on the word ‘light’. One of the best ways to deal with soreness and tightness in the muscles is to stretch out a bit. The motion of your body can surely your muscles feel better. Make sure you don’t stretch too much. If you feel the tightness in the muscle at a point while stretching, stop right there.