Nobody likes feeling sore after a workout. There are many theories as to the causes and prevention of soreness. Exercise physiologist, Lauren Conley, clears it all up for us. 

Why do we often feel sore after working out?

Soreness is a condition commonly seen in people who lift weights, have just started resistance exercise, are returning to exercise after a prolonged break or have made a drastic change to their routine.

How can you treat soreness?

  • Ice the sore area.
  • Stretch. Some light stretching might help with soreness brought on by tight, less flexible muscles.
  • Use a foam roller (a cylindrical foam self-massage tool you can find at most fitness stores) or massage the areas of soreness.
  • Eat for recovery. Even if you’re trying to eat fewer calories, you want to consume enough healthy proteins, carbohydrates and fats to help your body properly repair and maintain your muscles. Try a post-exercise protein snack like nuts, or a protein shake.

How can I prevent excessive soreness?

  • If you are beginning a new weight-lifting routine, start doing the new exercises with just body weight.
  • If you are trying a new piece of cardiovascular exercise equipment, begin at a lower intensity or speed to allow your major muscle groups to adapt.
  • Incorporate a warm-up. Warming up allows your body to gradually and naturally adjust to the movements you are about to do in your workout and allows your body temperature to gradually increase.
  • Always cool down. After exercising, your muscles become tight. Adequate cool down on the equipment and stretching can allow your muscles to relax at a more natural rate and allow your body temperature to come down gradually.

Exercise is one great way to keep your heart healthy. Try for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week for a healthy heart.

Lauren Conley

Lauren Conley

Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Lauren a clinical exercise physiologist with the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.

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