Friday, April 13, 2012
I worked out hard yesterday and It felt great! It felt so good I tackled getting rid of some trash from the attic and garage. When I got home from the dump, I mowed the lawn. All in all a satisfying day of exercise.
This morning I woke up to an unpleasant surprise. Youch! I was sore all over.
I was suffering from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. It is a common side effect of a hard workout.
When muscles are repeatedly stretched and stressed, small microtears occur within the muscle fibers, usually leading to inflammation. In the days following a tough workout, the body starts rebuilding itself by creating new, stronger muscle fiber to compensate for the damage (making it better, stronger, faster). And so the soreness we perceive is caused by inflammation within the muscle during this rebuilding cycle.
Fortunately, I am not new to hard workouts and a little stretching and some light activity helped me to quickly recover. I also took a little Aleve which I have been taking for my shoulder pain and stiffness since December. So I am feeling much better tonight.
For new exercisers, however, the effects of DOMS may last for several days. In fact She(WMBO) was suffering from continued shoulder soreness as a result of our new trainer. She had to go to Phoenix and skipped a couple of session and has come home good as new and ready to get back to work.
SparkPeople explains DOMS and other exercise sorenesses here: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
And amazingly, my left shoulder is steadily improving. Where only a few weeks ago holding my left arm out horizontal was painful, now holding it almost straight up is only uncomfortable.