|By Lisa & Steve VanWilliams|
So, we have been increasing our activity levels and intensity lately and boy am I sore. I feel like an 80 year woman after I sit for a while and try to get my muscles moving again. Why does this happen?
It's called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and it happens 24-72 hours after exercise. There is also acute muscle soreness which happens right after the exercise. Your basically contracting and tearing (or rupturing) your muscles and lengthening them causing them to swell. The body is increasing stamina, strength, pain threshold and tolerance levels. The body is adapting and recovering from the exertion.
This soreness can occur from changing your routine up, increasing intensity or duration, or starting a new exercise. The eccentric portion of weight baring exercises or load baring create the most muscle soreness - which is the lowering phase of an exercise. Some great exercises that you can really concentrate on the eccentric part of the motion include squats, push-ups, running downhill, lowering weights, and going down stairs. To maximize your workouts your should lower weight slowly, squat slower on the down phase (eccentric) and lift (concentric) a bit faster.
The good news is the more you do it, the less sore your body will be as it adapts. The body recovers in 3-7 days and there are a few things they say that might help alleviate walking like a zombie. Stretch, drink lots of water, progress slowly, and give your body time to repair.
SORE = the most satisfying feeling of knowing you pushed yourself and accomplished something.