I hope that by now, I have motivated a few of my readers to get their butts away from their consoles and into the world of health and fitness. I warned you about many different things during your quest to level-up your physical stats, but I forgot one, minor little thing. If you started exercising by now, I want to offer my sincere apologies for not telling you about this downside to fitness. If you’re still a lazy bum, consider yourself scolded and read on, for I will tell you about the horror of…SORE MUSCLES!
Muscle soreness is, in my opinion, the most annoying thing about working out. I enjoy the rush of endorphines after every good session, just as much as I enjoy the protein shake I consume after training. Getting up the next morning, however, can be a literal pain. On some days, it feels like your body has spontaneously created new sets of muscles, just so they can hurt and make your way into the bathroom a lot harder. Well, guess what: your body might just have started growing new muscles, because that’s where sore muscles come from.
What, you never wondered why you actually feel your limbs the morning or day after a workout? It’s because your body has noticed that your behaviour requires more muscle tissue, and is busy creating new and strong parts for your soon-to-be athletic physique. Also, it’s a sign that your body is restoring muscle tissue torn during your workout. What, you say, I harm my muscles when I go to the gym? Yes, you do, but don’t worry: you just break down what’s weak so it can be replaced with what is strong. Especially strength exercises like weightlifting put a lot of strain on your muscles, causing the tissue to tear. When you rest after your training session, your body uses the resources it has to rebuild that damaged tissue, and make it even stronger, so it won’t tear that easily the next time you train.
Alright, it’s all nice and well to know where muscle soreness comes from, but what can you do to combat it? First of all, it’s always better to prevent than mend it. Of course, you can’t protect yourself from all of those little sores, but doing a few things after a workout will certainly lessen the pain:
- rehydrate your body by drinking at least a litre of water right after the training session. This also lowers the amount of cramps.
- give your body proteins right after training, so it can use those to rebuild muscles. The fastest way is a protein shake, but eating diet yoghurt or light meat is also an option.
- stretching and “cool down” exercises can also help.
These three things help me to reduce the pain, so why not try them out yourself?
Whatever you do, be careful with muscle soreness. While they are a part of working out, you should also see them as a warning signal of your body. Rest and relax, and give your body the time to recover. If you do that, every little pain is another brick in the road to success. With that wisdom, I’ll end this week’s Geek Jitsu. Keep healthy!