Sore No More
So you decide to take a break from walking on the treadmill and try the new aerobic dance class at your gym. During the class you notice you’re using different muscles from those you usually use. But you feel fine—as if you could dance all day. The next morning you’re so sore you can barely get out of bed.
Sound familiar? Doing workouts that your body is not used to can result in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). But a little planning before your next workout can help keep muscle soreness at bay. Try some of these tips before your next exercise adventure:
- Warm up before you start. Move around to get your blood going. Try brisk walking, marching in place, or some slow, gentle lunges or squats.
- Mix up your activity. Swim one day; do yoga the next. Using different parts of your body in different ways can keep all parts of your body in good condition—and may also help lower your risk of injury.
- Pace yourself. If an activity uses movements or body parts you don’t usually use, go easy in the beginning. Take some time to work up to the new workout.
- Give it a rest. Make 1 day a week your regular day off. And give yourself 24 – 48 hours to recover after any especially intense exercise.
- Cool down when you’re done: Walk or jog slowly. Do some stretches. Let your heart rate slow down.
- Drink water. Drink during and after activity so that your body stays hydrated.
See a doctor if you think you have more than minor soreness or an actual injury. With planning and safety in mind, staying active is far less dangerous to your health than sitting on the couch all day.