What exactly is D.O.M.S ?
Aching muscles, sometimes referred to as D.O.M.S (Delayed onset muscle soreness) sets in sometimes 6 to 8 hours after your workout. It may peak around 24 to 48 hours post workout, although this varies depending on the individual. It’s the result of muscle micro trauma, which causes inflammation and soreness, created in your muscles when you’ve introduced a new exercise, activity or increased the intensity or volume of your usual training. It’s your bods way of making adaptations to prepare your muscles to do it again.
Sore Muscles is the most common characteristic of D.O.M.S, but other symptoms such as reduced range of motion and joint stiffness, local swelling and tenderness, and diminished muscle strength can also occur.
How does it occur?
Its the active lengthening of muscle fibres under load (body weight or weights). Think of it like you’re pulling on a rope, and there’s so much force that the rope starts to tear and pull apart. This is when your muscle fibres sustain tiny tears that cause the trauma to them.
When you’ve experienced D.O.M.S before and are a regular exerciser, it may become the Medal after your workout! You’ve pushed yourself and the fact that you can feel it the next day is your reward. However, it doesn’t always mean that you’re not getting a good workout when you’re not crippled the next day. Studies show that muscle soreness isn’t the best indicator of how hard you’ve worked or how fit you are. It’s true that you will start to feel less sore as your body adapts to your training and works more effectively (The reason it’s wise to regularly change your routine) but people also respond differently to pain and soreness.
D.O.M.S isn’t a bad thing!
Muscle trauma is needed to make muscles stimulate protein production and to repair themselves to get bigger and stronger than before so that the muscle soreness doesn’t happen again.
Unfortunately the effects of stretching after your workout don’t always reduce the effects of D.O.M.S. Although while you may not be able to avoid soreness altogether, it’s a good idea to include a warm up and cool-down period as part of your routine. There are other ways to alleviate the symptoms – A massage will move the fluid and blood around in your body which can help the micro trauma in your muscles to heal better, other common ways to treat D.O.M.S include foam rolling, hot and cold showers/baths, Epsom salt, increased protein intake, omega-3 supplementation and sleep. It’s also important to look at your diet to make sure your getting the right balance and enough nutrients to feed your body for the job it’s doing.
There may be times when you overdo it with your workout and feel really bad afterwards. You should be concerned if your level of soreness does not go down significantly after 96 hours, if the pain becomes worse and you start to experience swelling in your limbs, or your urine becomes dark in colour, you should see your doctor. If it’s an injury, you’re more likely to feel it immediately during your workout and you shouldnt ignore this. Soreness, on the other hand, will appear gradually, often the next day.
So although D.O.M.S (unfortunately) can be a horrible after effect of exercise, it happens for a reason – so you can go back and do the workout all over again – this time Stronger!
The importance of leading a Healthy lifestyle
The importance of leading a Healthy lifestyle isn’t just about weight loss and physique. Investing in your Health, following a healthy diet and taking regular exercise helps lower the risk of developing many of chronic diseases associated with being unhealthy.
If you eat too much, drink too much, smoke and are physically inactive, do you honestly expect to be healthy? Would you be surprised if you became ill? If you’re not taking responsibility for your own health who is? You can’t blame the Government, your Employer or the Food and Drink industry, YOU are in control of your health.
The Health risks associated with an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle should be common knowledge, so why would you choose to ignore this information until the inevitable happens? Being at risk of Premature Death, Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancers, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Tooth decay, along with being overweight, Tiredness, decreased Memory – it’s an endless list….. Yes many health problems are down to Genetics and circumstances that are out of your control, but there are factors that you are able to control – your attitude, behaviour and how much you value the importance of good health can make a big difference to your future health.
Prevention is better than cure
Why chance being in a Health risk category before you take action when you could be doing something to safeguard your future health NOW?. It just takes willpower – something that won’t help you if you’re unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a chronic disease. Even taking out Health insurance doesn’t ensure you’re going to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life – it just covers you should you become ill. But why wait until you are advised by medical professionals that you need to change your ways? Isn’t prevention better than cure? There’s a lot of focus on treating symptoms and looking for cures instead of focusing on preventing ill health and it’s shocking that many people only make health changes when they’re at risk of chronic disease a or worse still when they actually develop an illness. Unfortunately, many don’t realise the importance of good Health until its gone.
Take action now!
It doesn’t mean depriving yourself of treats or running daily marathons, however there has to be a balance. You really do have the power to take control and responsibility for your Future health BEFORE it’s too late
- Follow a Healthy diet
- Drink more water
- Get enough Sleep
Following a Healthy lifestyle not only means you’ll BE healthier, but also, you’ll FEEL healthier too – and feeling healthy is a GREAT feeling!
Every Wednesday 6.30pm at Bricknell Primary School.
Suitable for ALL Fitness levels and ALL Welcome.