How Do I Relieve Post-Workout Aches? June 9, 2011.

Doing strenuous exercise or unaccustomed exercise is when we usually experience Doms. We use to think this was caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the muscle. We now know that next day muscle soreness is caused by damage to the muscle fibers themselves. Scientists can tell how much muscle damage has occurred by measuring blood levels of a muscle enzyme called CPK. CPK is normally found in muscles and is released into the bloodstream when muscles are damaged. Immediately after exercise there is a prolonged increase in ultra-structural damage and muscle protein degradation occurs, as well as a depletion of muscle glycogen stores. The muscle tissue is damaged and its energy stores are depleted. This sets up a pain response.

Doms begins 8-24 hours after exercise and peaks 24-72 hours post exercise and then subsides over the next 5-7 days.

Doms is part of an adaptation process to the new exercise behavior. You will get sore when you first begin doing the new exercise. Each subsequent exercise session should result in a lessening of the Doms response as your body adapts to the stress of the exercise.

The best defense against Doms is a correct warm-up and not overdoing the beginning stages. Gradually build up the volume and intensity of your workouts. This will keep muscle soreness to a manageable level. The best way to reduce the soreness is by repeating the movement pattern that caused the soreness but at a much lower volume and intensity level. You must refeed and rehydrate as soon as possible following exercise or you will experience an increase in the severity and duration of Doms. Don’t worry, the pain will go away in a few days and if you keep exercising you won’t get as sore if at all.

Stay Strong and Healthy,

Peter Holmes

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