Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness when starting exercising

Typically within 24 to 72 hours after you start training or dramatically increase your training level your muscles will feel sore. This soreness comes from stretching and flexing the muscles and tendons causing tiny tears called micro trauma. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can take 5 to 7 days to subside.

To reduce DOMS it is important to warm up before exercise. Research indicates that warming up may better prepare the body for the stress caused by exercise. Increasing the  muscle temperature results in more pliable muscle tissue that is less likely to tear. Light exercise can help promote blood flow to the sore muscles and this has been shown to reduce the severity of DOMS. People find relief by taking a hot bath or going to the sauna.  In addition, doing 5-10minutes of cool down (light stretching, walking, jogging, etc) after a workout can greatly reduce DOMS. Cool downs also help prevent blood from “pooling” or settling in muscle tissue so it can circulate properly. Some research has shown that 72 hours from your 1st workout getting back in the gym and training hard again (after a warm up) is the fastest way to reduce the pain from DOMS.

When starting a new training program you can try doing a one day on -one day off approach to give your body the recovery time it needs and reduce the length of time that you are affected by DOMS.

The worst thing you can do is just sit on the couch and wait it out.Waiting until you are no longer sore at all to train will just make you sore again and the cycle will continue for an extended time.

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