One of the challenges in beginning a workout routine is dealing with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Any activity that places unaccustomed loads on the muscle can and usually will cause DOMS. It is thought to be caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. DOMS usually develops 8-12 hours after exercise, peaks at 48 hours and gradually goes away. The good news is that the muscle fiber tears are not harmful and they will repair themselves in time. The extra good news is that when they repair themselves they will be stronger than they were before.
Take Tylenol, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve) or aspirin to ease the pain.
You will be tempted to move as little as possible but movement followed by stretching will help. Take a walk, swim, yoga or light cardio followed by stretching. Hold each stretch 30 seconds. No bouncing.
A warm muscle will stretch easier than a cold muscle. You can warm up a muscle by following the tip above or put a heating pad on the muscle. Hot tubs and warm baths also help.
A trip to a massage therapist will work wonders. An alternative is to warm up the muscle and then massage it yourself using “The Stick” or a rolling pin. “The Stick” can be purchased at Try Sports in Blakeney or Southpark. Target also has a version sold in the sporting goods section.
Take a break. When your muscles are extremely sore refrain from an intense workout until they have time to recover.