Have you ever woken up after a workout and really struggled to get out of bed? Or maybe just sitting down on the toilet takes an extra 5 minutes and the idea of getting your socks on is just too much. Well, you my friend have a case of the DOMS.
But before you ring your local GP, don’t panic DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
“No pain, no gain” is a saying I am sure you have heard thrown around the gym. Of course, I am not suggesting serious pain that means you need to get yourself checked into A & E. But that good old amount of soreness in the muscles that is felt anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after your hard workout.
Most people find that DOM’s hits them bad when they are new to physical activity, working a new exercise or increased the intensity. “Your body is making adaptations to better prepare your muscles to do that activity again,” says Lauren Haythe, certified Kinesis Myofascial Integration Practitioner and yoga teacher. That’s why on Day 1 at the gym, after doing squats or lunges with 10-15 pound weights, you can be brutally sore the next day. “But, as you continue on, you can build up from there, and you won’t be so sore,” she says.
But I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you with coping with the soreness.
Hot & Cold
My top favourite is run a bath, but I am not talking with your favourite bubble bath and a glass of bubbly. I mean cold, that’s right a freezing bath is what you need. Sit in there for as long as you can (it’s not easy, trust me). However, many professional athletes swear by ice baths because the cold helps combat the muscular micro-tears from intense exercise. If you can’t stand sitting in a cold bath, have a hot one and every 20 minutes stand under a cold shower…. brrrr.
Eat The Protein
Eating properly and making sure you have right nutrition in your body will help with your recovery. Also staying hydrated is key. But the best part is that it’s believed that protein is great for helping with the aches. You don’t need to give me any excuse to grab a juicy steak.
Start with every fitness bunny's best friend, the foam roller. “Foam rolling can soothe sore knots and release tight trigger points in your muscle fibres," explains Leah. “Go slowly, rolling each limb in turn, from all angles. Breathing deeply as you roll will make the treatment more effective."
Get Those Knots
If you do have a spare few pounds, then I would find yourself someone who is highly recommended for sports massage. Looking after your body will help your recovery better and ensure you can keep on training. Now this massage won’t be relaxing, but you will be feeling great the next day.
I would recommend hitting a class of Yoga but if that is not your thing hit the floor and get stretching. Performing easy low-impact aerobic exercise is great for increasing blood flow and is linked with diminished muscle soreness. This is why a cool down after all your sessions is really important.
Most importantly always listen to your body. Avoid any vigorous activity or exercise that increases pain.
If you have any tricks of what gets you through the aches and pains, I’d love to hear more. But if you are sitting there thinking you have never had DOMS then you my friend have not been working hard enough and need to try a session out with me.