Q: How do I prevent soreness after a workout? Tricia P.
A: Soreness is always a concern after a hard workout or when you just start exercising out again. In reality many people avoid it all together because of the soreness they experience after working out. Soreness is created by the tearing down of the muscle tissue during a workout. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) generally catches up to you within 24 to 48 hours. Some soreness after a hard routine is inevitable because you tore down the muscle, but there are things that you can do before and after your workout to decrease soreness.
Before a workout you need to make sure you eat some carbs and protein(4:1 ratio). Foam rolling or self massage before exercising will get your blood flowing and work the knots out of the muscle. Active stretching will also help warm up the muscle and get you stretched out. Make sure you stay hydrated during the workout.
After the workout you want do some static stretching the kind of stretching you learned in elementary. There is no evidence that we have found that indicates that this helps with soreness, but from practical experience we believe that recovery from a hard workout is improved by doing static stretching. Then jump on the foam roller and really emphasize the areas that you worked out. Make sure you rehydrate with water to get your fluid levels back to where they were before you started exercising. Re-hydrating will help get out any of the toxins moving in your system. Get the right nutrients back into your system to help with recovery. If you are breaking down the muscle you need protein to replace the protein you just broke down. Make sure to eat or supplement with protein within thirty minutes of finishing.
The final two tips and maybe the hardest tips to follow are to take a hot and cold shower and get plenty of sleep. The theory behind hot and cold showers is that by dilating and constricting blood vessels it helps remove waste products from tissue. You should alternate from hot to cold in your shower at 2 minutes hot to :30 seconds cold this can be repeated up to four times. We have been told for years that our bodies’ need 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep and it has even been recommended for every hour you workout you body may need an extra hour of sleep to recover. Try to get as much sleep as you can with your busy schedule.