Physical activity positively influences the functioning of our body, which is no secret. Regular training allows you to maintain a healthy weight, keep a slim figure, and it also improves your mood and supports the work of the immune system. However, after the first visit to the gym or when returning after a long break many people experience soreness. What are they and how to deal with them?
What are soreness?
Most people do not even think about where they come from and what exactly muscle soreness is. It is a syndrome of delayed onset muscle pain, which is called DOMS. Most often it appears about 24 hours after the workout and usually disappears after about three days. The soreness is caused by microtrauma to the surface of the muscle fibres. In addition, harmless inflammatory cells also appear on them, which have the task of removing the damaged tissue.
Thanks to this cleansing process, tired and damaged muscles have a place to regenerate. The acidity increases the regeneration of fibers, thus stimulating them to grow. Their blood supply and innervation are also increased. Thanks to this, they become stronger and better prepared for the next effort, and this means that pain caused by physical effort in spite of appearances has a positive effect on the human body.
Despite this information and the growing awareness of people on this subject, the myth that sore muscles are the result of the accumulation of lactic acid is still widespread. It is worth knowing that although this substance is indeed accumulated during training, it is rapidly transported to the liver where it is converted into glucose. This leads to a situation in which it becomes fuel for the body without causing any discomfort.
Can soreness be avoided?
Acid can be avoided, or at least significantly reduced. Before each workout you should warm up properly. Beginners should not throw themselves into the deep end. You can warm up by doing simple exercises for five minutes. These may include arm and hip circles, jumping jacks, jogging and bends. Only after preparing your muscles for harder work can you move on to the actual training unit.
Do not forget about proper hydration. You should drink about two liters of liquid every day, and mineral water is the best choice. In addition, after the workout you should do some relaxation exercises, and in particular take care of those parts of the muscles that have been exploited the most intensively. Thanks to light stretching, your muscles will recover much faster, and the effects of DOMS will not be so noticeable.
How to deal with soreness?
There are several proven ways to combat soreness. If the first painful symptoms appear, it is recommended to react with the help of heat. This may be a visit to the sauna or a hot bath, which will significantly improve blood circulation and oxygenate muscle cells. Taking a hot bath immediately after a workout can only harm yourself. Many specialists also recommend not forcing the sore muscle part, but if it is necessary to perform a workout, it should be carried out at a low intensity, for example, 20 minutes of light jogging.
In extreme cases, when pain persists for a long time and makes it difficult to move normally, a pain pill or an ointment for sore muscles can help. Such products are available at pharmacies without a prescription. You should also remember that sometimes the simplest ways are the most effective. It is, of course, about rest. Not without reason it is said that sleep is a cure for most ailments. It is worth remembering that.
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