“Oh God that hurts!!”
“I know and you asked for it”
“But I enjoyed it at the time”
“You should have said stop when I told you to…..”
Yep, that’s me having a conversation with myself when I’m suffering from DOMS, a self-inflicted pain brought on by having too much fun at the gym. If you’re wondering what the hell goes on at my gym and how you can get membership, I should explain that DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. So why the picture? Well 1. I love the boots and 2. it got your attention didn’t it? ;O)
Anyone who works out or just strenuously exercises will have experienced this at some point or another; the pain usually creeps up on you 2 or 3 days after the event and, I must be honest, depending on the muscles you’ve overworked, it’s not pleasant. The worst, for me, is DOMS in the stomach muscles (Abs and obliques); that is an absolute shocker and can leave you feeling really uncomfortable and even a little sick for a few days. I suppose that begs two questions:
- Why does it happen?
- Why put yourself through that?
The first one is tricky because no-one is entirely sure. When we really work our muscles hard they will grow bigger and stronger as a result of the changes that happen at cellular level. Not to get too scientific about it – the cells throw a wobbly, the body panics a bit and sense pain signals up to the brain.
Why put yourself through it? Personally I love the challenge of pushing my muscles to the point where I just can’t do any more. Collapsing face down, sweaty and out of breath on a mat is not pretty for anyone watching but, if its as a result of getting through a complete plank series for the first time, you will feel amazing. It’s the same as going up a weight when you bench press; the fact that you have the power in your body to do what you couldn’t a few weeks ago is a real buzz!
Anyway, if you get DOMS, what can you do about it?
- First thing and probably the most important is not to stress about it – accept it for what it is, know it will go away and try to keep your muscles in the surrounding areas relaxed.
- Keep moving and stretch. Sitting in the same position for hours will not make the pain go away, in fact it could make it worse. Try some light yoga exercises to keep everything moving; these are especially useful if your abs are suffering.
- You can use both heat and ice on the affected area which will give you some relief but neither will take the pain away – only time’s going to do that I’m afraid.
- You can take pain killers, specifically anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen, but, as these will mask the pain for a while don’t be fooled into thinking that your muscles are ready for another bashing. In fact, if you can, avoid taking pain killers and try natural anti-inflammatories such as leafy greens and ginger (great juice idea right there!)
- Massage will also help and, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good massage.
There you have it – DOMS in a nutshell – that just brings a whole other picture to mind :O)
Have a great day everyone x