You may have a great workout session in the gym, but the next day, when you wake up, you can’t move. DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness is a common thing that occurs post-workout. Ideally, when your body feels the pain, you are less likely to move and damage your body further. So, it is a mechanism your body uses to protect you from damaging your muscle cells any further. But the faster you reduce muscle soreness, the quicker you heal your body, and the quicker you can get back on the treadmill!
DOMS can be painful that it may even get in the way of your everyday activities. So, here are some tips that will reduce DOMS so that you can get back to your workout schedule without breaks.
Warming Up Before Workout
The biggest mistake you make in the gym is jumping straight to the weight section or the arms and abs section. Your muscles should gradually acclimate to the workout. So, start by a gentle warmup session. You can begin with jumping jacks or on spot jogging before you start your actual workout. You can even jog for a few minutes to get your heart pumping. Warming up before working out not only reduces the chances of DOMS but it also decreases tendons or ligaments to tear, which can be extremely painful and takes a long time to recover. Another plus side to warming up is that your body acclimates to the changing body temperature and increased heart rate. This is usually why we perform better after a warm up.
Stretching it Out
Many stretch out their muscles before they start working out. This is also good for your muscles as they become warm and ready for a rigorous workout. However, very few of us stretch after a workout. While we gradually acclimate our bodies for the exercise, we should progressively acclimate our bodies to rest toward the end of the workout as well. Doing light stretches after a workout not only feels good on your muscles but it keeps your organs in motion for a little longer. This reduces the effects of DOMS.
Ice Water Bath
We get DOMS because our muscle cells face microtrauma during intense workout sessions. These microtraumas make our muscles stronger after a 24 – 72-hour period. During this period, our body works hard to expel the lactic acid waste that has accumulated from the extended period of anaerobic respiration. An ice water bath narrows your blood vessels and expels lactic acid out of your system. It also slows down your blood circulation and decreases metabolic activity.
An ice water bath is usually around 12 – 15 degrees Celsius and athletes are advised to soak for five to ten minutes, sometimes up to twenty minutes (but not more than that) to benefit from it.
Heating Pads and Sauna Treatment
This may sound like a complete contrast to the previous tip, but using heating pads a few hours after a workout can reduce the chances of DOMS the following day. There are a few studies that are trying to see the effects of saunas right after a workout. However, we are yet to make significant discoveries. However, if we use the heating method a few hours after the workout, we may notice a substantial decrease in DOMS. Heat increases blood flow, which in turn increases oxygenation. With increased oxygen healing becomes faster. The reason why heating pads are useful a few hours after the workout is that our muscles become tighter during this time and this leads to the onset of DOMS. The heat from the pads and saunas relaxes the affected tissue and encourages faster healing.
Athletes do not require more than 15-20 minutes of saunas, and a single session in there would lead to a lot of water loss just from sweating. Intense workouts and training in wet areas also lead to dehydration. Sometimes less water in your system may also be the reason why you have severe cramps. It is essential to stay hydrated especially if you live in a humid place. So, remember to drink lots of water throughout the day. Many companies advertise energy drinks, and though they help if you have a very intense workout session, for those with a regular workout routine, plain old water will do the trick!
There is a reason why Syounaa socks are made especially for athletes. They are made with a special Celiant fibre. Celiant fibre is a unique blend of 13 naturally occurring minerals. Whenever you wear Syounaa socks, these minerals trap your body heat to infrared energy that regulates your body heat. They perform a series of complicated function where on the one hand it stops your feet from overheating, and on the other hand, it encourages blood circulation around your feet. The increased oxygenation facilitated healing which reduces the intensity of DOMS the following day. Remember to wear Syounaa socks when you are busy with an intense workout session. We hope this was helpful. Muscle cramps after a workout are essential, but it gets in the way of your schedule. This is especially problematic if you must train for a match or a session.