So What Exactly Is DOMS?
By Donna Stark
You've been wanting to get your health back on track so you took the time to create a new fitness plan, you bought new workout gear, and you spent a couple of hours in the afternoon putting it all to use. The motivation is there, but then something happens a couple of hours later and you start to worry that it could be destroyed. This is something that was totally unexpected and extremely uncomfortable. It's something that has you questioning your wisdom about exercising in the first place. And to make matters worse, experts have given it an abbreviation, and you know from past experience that if a medical condition is abbreviated, it could end up being pretty disruptive. It's DOMS, but don't worry! It's not as bad as you think.
What Is DOMS?
DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, is definitely something that most people have experienced, even those who exercise regularly. It typically occurs after you increase the frequency, intensity, or length of your workouts. It can also occur if you introduce new exercises or routines to your workout as well.
How Long Does It Last?
Muscle soreness usually begins several hours after you complete your exercises. It typically peaks a day or two later and then it starts to subside. It is OK to continue exercising with muscle soreness, but be mindful of how it affects your movements. You should also know the difference between common muscle pain and any sharp pains that could be indicative of an actual injury.
How Can DOMS Be Prevented?
It's important to warm up and cool down before and after all your exercises. You can do this with stretching, some light cardio, and certain foods. Take a look at some of the best foods and drinks that can help reduce the risk of muscle soreness.
- Before a workout - Espresso, tart cherry juice, tomato juice
- After a workout - Beet juice, tart cherry juice, ginger, fish (omega-3 fatty acids), broccoli, green tea
Don't Forget to Rest
If your muscles are really sore, it may be prudent to take a day off or to focus on a different muscle group during your next scheduled workout. You certainly don't want to strain your sore ones anymore than they are or bring them to the point of injury.
While it is not possible to completely prevent DOMS, there are certain things you can do to reduce the severity of the soreness. The best way out of all of them though, is to be cautious and take things slowly. This approach will give your muscles plenty of time to adapt to any changes you may be making and will ensure a pain-free workout!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Franklin, Tenn.