We all have experienced muscle soreness and aches that occur when you start a new exercise routine when muscles aren't conditioned. Current evidence suggests that the high force eccentric (lengthening of the muscle) contraction of muscle tissue causes small muscle damage. What can you do to limit that familiar soreness?
Things that can help:
* Warming up- A short warm up prior to your exercise can help prepare your body for exercise. Light stretching of warm muscles can prepare your muscles too.
* Vitamin C- Supplementation in weeks leading up to exercise and a few days after high stress exercise has been shown to help reduce the intensity of the sore side effects. Vitamin C is well known for its antioxidant properties and ability to reduce cell damage.
* Continuing the exercise that caused the initial soreness. This is called the Repeated Bout Effect. If you continue to perform the activity that caused the soreness your body is less likely to feel sore in subsequent training sessions.
Things that don't necessarily help:
*Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- While NSAIDs can be a useful tool for helping reduce pain temporarily, it is not recommended to be used after high intensity exercise. Inflammation in the muscle is your body's natural response to damaged tissue. By introducing these anti-inflammatory medications we are limiting our body's natural response to reduce damage.