9 Things You Need to Know About Muscle Soreness

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This idea is going to be foreign to many of you, but eventually, you’ll learn that a little soreness means you’ve embarked on something that is good for you. The first time, however, you’re going to have to show a little faith. Whenever I switch up my training, I go through an initial period of soreness. While it’s always bothersome, especially say, when it hurts to take off my shoes or wash my hair, I know that it’s only temporary and that it’s an important step along the road to my goal. So I embrace it. Sure, it hurts. But it hurts in a good way. A great way even. I love the beginning of a new training cycle because I know that once I work through the pain, I’m going to be fitter than before. In fact, when I haven’t had a period of soreness in a while, I start to feel like a slacker. Yes, you heard that right — work out! But, take it easy. This is what is called a “recovery workout,” which is aimed at increasing circulation rather than creating micro-tears (or microtrauma) in the muscles, which caused the soreness in the first place. Exercise promotes circulation, which reduces soreness. Sitting around while you’re sore is actually worse for relieving your soreness than doing an easy workout. What you should do is warm up and then do part of your scheduled workout. Maybe do half, or even just a quarter. Use the extra time after the cooldown to stretch and ice. But remember, if it’s only your legs that are sore, you don’t have to go easy on your upper body, and vice versa. Nice try.

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