By Tony Wagner Citizen Columnist
Dear Mr. Fitness:
You have explained many times to your readers that the pain they feel a day or two after they workout is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This pain isn't from any injury but is the result of microtears in the muscles from heavy resistance training or weightlifting. Since we know what causes the pain, is there anything to do about it other then suffer through it knowing that our muscles will be microscopically bigger when the tears heal? This question is prompted by the leg workout on Friday that has left me unable (almost) to go up and down stairs all weekend. It isn't such a problem with other body parts, but not being able to walk for two or three days at a time is a real inconvenience. Hoping for some relief.
Understand that you do not have to be lifting heavy weights for this microtrauma at the cellular level to occur. People who have not been exercising for some time will experience this pain, too. Leg pain is the worst. I can feel your pain, and at times have.
What works best for me is to take a few aspirins to help relieve the pain and inflammation -- of course, make sure your doctor says you can eat aspirins. Trying to rest your legs will really speed the healing process. As one's conditioning improves, the pain will lessen, too. I realize that it is sometimes tough to just sit around. But, if you can stay off of your legs post-workout as much as you can, this will bring some needed relief.
Along with this, a hot tub seems to help greatly. The hot water from the tub will draw blood to those painful muscles and that speeds healing. It never alleviates all of the pain, but it does seem to speed recovery along nicely.
One other word of caution: If you are that sore, try to take consecutive days off from your workouts. Let your entire body rest. Even though you think you are working out a completely different body part, remember that you are one whole organism; not a bunch of separate and disparate pieces.
Let the whole body rest and take advantage of your natural healing processes. Good luck!
-- Mr. Fitness
Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook us, and stop by Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-292-2930.