No pain, no gain. Right? Well, not exactly. As most health-conscious individuals can attest, a vigorous workout is likely to leave you tired and a little sore after you complete it. And it’s normal to “feel the burn” during a high-intensity workout. However, it’s important to realize the difference between regular delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and something more serious. With that in mind, today we’ll explain how you can reduce, prevent, and deal with aches and pains from working out:
Stagger Your Workouts
Lifting weights and other high-intensity exercise programs can be a great addition to your workout routine and help you reach your health goals. Yet, it’s never a good idea to engage in a strenuous workout if you’re still feeling aches, pains, and soreness from your last one. That’s why it’s crucial to stagger workouts throughout the week. Give yourself “off” days when you can focus on lighter activity or other areas of your body. This way, you won’t be putting undue stress on your arms, legs, chest, back, etc.
Get Plenty of Sleep
In between workouts, it’s important to give your mind and your body plenty of time to relax. Unsurprisingly, getting a good night’s sleep is imperative to your overall health and wellness. What’s more, though, sleep disruption has been linked with a lower pain threshold. So the more sleep you get, the less pain you’re likely to feel.
Not only is it important to stretch before a workout to prevent muscle tears, but it’s equally vital to stretch after you exercise as well. A post-workout stretch will allow your body to relax and ease some of the aches and pains associated with vigorous activity. Plus, nothing feels as refreshing as a good stretch!
Should you experience severe muscle soreness following a workout, then it’s advisable to ice down the areas experiencing the most pain. Ice decreases blood flow and helps lower swelling, inflammation, and muscle spasms. Ice can be an effective way to deal with an acute issue in the short term.
Speak with a Doctor
Regular aches and pains following exercise are to be somewhat expected. On the other hand, sharp, stabbing pain, chronic aches, or debilitating pain in the knees, shoulders, or back could indicate a more serious muscle or joint issue. If you experience harsh pain on a regular basis that affects your ability to work out, then speak to a doctor about your treatment options. You may even be a candidate for stem cell therapy. What are stem cells exactly? In simple terms, they are the body’s regenerative cells that aid with the repair of damaged tissue. Regardless of what your doctor ultimately recommends, always make it a point to speak with a medical professional should you experience worse aches and pains than normal. Otherwise you could really injure yourself.