Muscle soreness is the absolute worst. You know it’s coming, yet that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Here’s why your muscles sometimes feel sore after exercise, and what you can do to deal with the discomfort.
WHY IT HAPPENS
When you put your muscles through any kind of physical strain, the muscles themselves, as well as their surrounding tissues, get small tears in them. This is normal, especially if you’re performing an activity you usually don’t, like lifting weights when you usually run on a treadmill. You can’t really prevent this from happening – a little soreness is a good sign. It means you’re working your muscles just enough to have a positive effect. You can still decrease the severity of the symptoms, though.
DECREASE MUSCLE SORENESS WITH PROTEIN
Protein isn’t just great for building muscle – it helps your muscles repair themselves after exercise, too. As long as you are eating enough protein after an intense workout, you shouldn’t feel quite as sore as you would if you didn’t refuel properly.
DON’T DO TOO MUCH TOO FAST
When you overwork your muscles, you’re going to get that stiffness and/or sensitiviy you can’t stand. This kind of soreness is really the only kind you can “prevent.” If you’re training for an event or you’re just trying to increase the amount you’re lifting or moving distance-wise, increase slowly. You’re not invincible.
We say it a lot, but there’s a good reason for that. When you put your muscles through a physical activity they aren’t used to doing, you can guarantee there’s going to be some soreness for the next few days. The more you keep doing that activity, though, the more you build up a sort of tolerance to it. Basically, your muscles get used to the movement. When you stop for awhile, this whole process happens all over again. That’s another reason staying consistent is so important – so your muscles don’t “forget.”
As you train, there’s going to be some soreness. There isn’t much you can do about it. Keep things consistent, eat your protein and avoid overtraining, and you won’t likely notice the effects as much. Just keep going. A little pain, in this case, is a good thing.