D.O.M.S.... Why does everything hurt 😪
Why does everything hurt? The most likely answer? GAINS but those gains can come at the cost of DOMS, which is totally normal! It’s the pain you feel 24-72 hours after a workout, which typically peaks around 48 hours post workout and is a result of micro trauma to your muscles, and the accumulation of waste products as a result of exercise. Known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). At the end of the day, DOMS is a positive reaction, However. Ignoring that message from your body can cause more harm than good. Regularly over-training yourself eventually leads to diminishing returns, plateau, and injury – so be sure to listen to your body!!
The ultimate goal of any training program is to find the optimal balance between work and recovery.
Here are 5 tips to help you get back to training at your full potential ASAP.
1. Stay hydrated aka drink that clear stuff! 🥤
A lack of electrolytes contributes to muscle soreness so you need to make sure you are staying hydrated throughout your workout. Your muscles are working harder and so they demand more oxygen and therefore need more blood pumping around – around 82% of your blood volume actually consists of water, so hydration is much more important and effective than simply quenching your thirst! Try to avoid beverages high in sugar, salt and caffeine, which can increase dehydration
2. Stretchy Flexy 🐱🏍
Stretching is, without a doubt, on of the best ways to combat some of that CrossFit soreness.
The last thing you should do if you’re experiencing soreness in your muscles is not move them. So as tempting as it may be to sit completely still on the couch all day, it’s a bad idea and will only make things worse.
3. Active Recovery, yes come back to the gym the next day! 🏋️♀️
Probably the last thing you feel like doing when you are in pain is moving your sore muscles. However, active recovery where you perform gentle, restorative movements can be one of the most effective tools you can use to dramatically decrease the amount of muscle soreness you experience.After all, being sedentary causes more harm than good!
Light exercise that can help to stretch the sore muscles can also provide some pain relief by keeping your muscles moving. Even going for a walk. This exercising can be painful to start, but after a few minutes, when the blood gets flowing and the muscles get warmed up, it will start to feel better. If you have 10-minutes try adding in a light cardio session, and then do some dynamic stretching like lunges, squats, or arm circles.
4. Increase Circulation 🛀
Better blood circulation means more oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood will be going to the injured muscles, while increased blood flow also helps to wash away the chemical irritants responsible for pain. One way to boost your circulation is through warmth. Try taking a warm (not hot as this can have the opposite effect!) bath, and for extra pain relief, add to it 200 to 400 grams of Epsom salts. The magnesium in the solution can be absorbed through the skin, helping reduce soreness and improve muscle function.
5. Sleep & Rest (ah…. My favorite) 😴
Sleep is a really powerful tool for preventing DOMS and for muscle building, and is also key for a wellness lifestyle. Muscle-building chemicals such as Human Growth Hormone are naturally produced by your body in the deep stages of sleep. Your body spends more energy on recovery when you’re asleep, so aim for a minimum of 7 hours to really help your body recover from exercising.