Experiencing sore muscles, or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), can be a good sign your training sessions are effective and challenging. However, constant muscle soreness can mean you are not allowing your body time to recover in between sessions, which can ultimately lead to hindered results.
If you are experiencing muscle soreness, try the following to gain some relief:
Get moving. When experiencing those particularly painful DOMS, you may just want to plop yourself down on the couch and really take advantage of a rest day. However, this can actually prolong your recovery time. Instead, try a light walk or bike ride to get your muscles moving and warmed up.
Stretch slowly. Once the muscles are warmed up, stretch slowly for 10-15 minutes. Hold the stretch for approximately 30 seconds and try to push yourself a little deeper in each position.
To prevent DOMS and support muscle recovery, try to incorporate the following into your routine:
Cool down properly. Allocate time at the end of each workout to cool down properly. Stationary stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds will let your body know it’s time to wind down and relax.
Myofascial release. Myofascial release by foam rolling is a great addition to your cool down. This will not only help to relieve muscle tightness but can also help increase your range of motion – double win!
Consider magnesium. The anti-inflammatory properties in magnesium support recovery, get a magnesium boost by increasing your intake by way of supplement or dietary choices.
REST. 1-2 rest days per week (from extreme or heavy exercise) is important to let the body recover properly and aid results. Having 30 active minutes each day is still encouraged but try something a bit lighter such as a walk or bike ride.
Most importantly, make sure you are listening to your body. While it’s good to challenge yourself, it’s also vital you understand when your body needs a break.
National Fitness Manager, Anytime Fitness – Kate Allott
With a career spanning 10 years as a dancer, Kate has always been fascinated by human body movement. This active background launched her into a new career in personal training, before moving into the position of National Fitness Manager at Anytime Fitness Australia. Kate’s holistic view of health and fitness is driven by her passion to educate Australians about the link between physical fitness and mental health. For Kate, it’s all about wellness, movement, and doing what you love.