Hey everybody! I spent the past couple days pretty sore from 2 rough workouts last week (YEAH!! for getting back in shape). Stairs. Are. The. Devil.
I try to stay in pretty good shape, but several times in my life I’ve ended up with DOMS. In case you aren’t familiar with the terminology, DOMS is trainer-talk for when you get sore a couple days after a workout (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and it is the WORST! You wake up the day after the workout and feel a bit sore, but that I’m-gonna-look-like-Jessica-Alba-in-my-new-bikini type of sore. It’s amazing. But as the day goes on, it gets a bit harder to move. And the next day you feel like someone beat your calf/quads/pecs/triceps/etc with a baseball bat. Ugh! But, if you just add/change a couple things in your routine, you can lessen (or eliminate) DOMS. Here we go:
All the time
- Drink water. Once you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. So do your best to drink water throughout the day and evening. You should shoot for half your body weight in ounces (ex: a 120 lb person should have 60 ounces.)
Immediately following workout
- BCAAs. I was introduced to these a few months ago and can’t rave about them enough. It stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids and you can find them in most protein powders. Since I’m doing Atkins (no milk), I mix it with greek yogurt and eat immediately following my workout. Didn’t do this last week and I’m convinced that is why I spent 3 days in pain.
After workout or later that day
- Walk/stretch. For some reason I skip this one pretty regularly, and I think I pay for it later. I’d suggest 10 minutes at the end of the workout to stretch and walk. If you are short on time, you can make it up later in the day, just try to get it in before going to bed that night.
- Foam roll. I can’t emphasize how important this little device is. I paid $30 for mine (darn retail prices) and it was worth every penny. Do it after the workout and/or later in the day and it will help to avoid the muscles tightening up later.
Day of workout (anytime)
- Fish oil. No, not those pills that you take because Woman’s Health said you should. Actual fish oil. My boyfriend and I do a shot of it and I almost always find that it helps. Get the lemon flavor, wash it down with a glass of water, and you’ll be thanking me later. And the linked container lasts us 6-9 months, so don’t freak out on the price tag.
If DOMS still happens
- Walk. Or Waddle. Whatever you need to do to get moving. This will help reduce the amount of time that your muscles are sore.
- Pain Killers. I prefer Aleve, but just find what works for you and take a couple to reduce the swelling/pain.
- BioFreeze. This stuff is amazing. Just rub it on a few times a day and it masks the pain to make walking/waddling/stretching much more enjoyable.
Hopefully with just a few easy changes you too can avoid crying when walking down the stairs!
What tips do you have to avoid muscle soreness?