Easy And Effective Ways Of Dealing With Muscle Soreness

Have you overdone your workout? Barely able to walk, sit or bend? Can’t face the thought of the gym or the running track ever again? Don’t despair. There are many simple and effective ways of dealing with muscle soreness and stiffness. Read on for some fast relief of that muscle pain.

Types of muscle pain.

There are several types of muscle pain associated with working out:

* Lactic acid burn.
This is the burning feeling you experience in your muscles as you are working out. This is a result of strenuous muscle exertion and lactic acid builds up in the tissues as a byproduct of the vigorous workout. Lactic acid burn starts to subside within minutes of finishing the exercise.

* Acute injury or sprain. Sudden onset of acute or unusual pain while exercising could indicate an injury or sprain. Many sprains can be treated in the same manner as DOMS. However, if your pain hasn’t gone within a week it will be time to consult a doctor. Severe pain may warrant a visit sooner.

* Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is used to describe the pain and stiffness that you tend to wake up with the day after a vigorous workout. This pain may intensify for up to 48 hours after the workout, and then start to subside. There are many useful strategies you can implement to help with this sort of soreness.

Treating muscle pain.

* Massage has been shown to help with both lactic acid build up and DOMS. In the case of lactic acid build up massaging the surrounding areas seems to clear the chemical build up faster, decreasing tissue inflammation. In the case of DOMS, massage would appear to be at the very least, very soothing.

* Yoga has been shown in studies to help with DOMS. The gentle movements along with the stretches may be just what the physio ordered.

* Stretching definitely helps alleviate the stiffness and soreness of those tight muscles. The best thing about stretching is that you can do it as often as you need to. Just remember, aim for gentle stretches, do not rock or bounce and try and hold for at least 5 seconds.

* RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, and is ideal for more significant muscle injuries like sprains and swellings. The ice and elevation will minimize the bruising and swelling of the affected area. The compression, as in a bandage, will help support the area and will ease the pain, especially if it is your ankle or foot.

* Heat packs are extremely soothing for sore muscles and help with the associated inflammation. Many people swear by wheat packs for those aching and stiff muscles and joints.

* Ice packs and cold water.
Many athletes claim that ice baths are great for dealing with pains and swellings. Ice packs definitely help with sprains and swellings. Some may prefer the warmth of a heat pack, and others may find an ice bath more effective. Experiment and see which works the best for you. Neither will harm you.

* Warming up before going again.
Before you embark on your next round of activity it is vital to do a gentle warm up for 10-15 minutes. You will start to feel better straight away. Note the word “gentle”. Activities such as walking and cycling are excellent.

* Gentle activity.
You may not feel like even climbing out of bed, but gentle activity will definitely help your cause. Do not workout to the intense level you were at to give yourself the DOMS. Knock it back a few levels of intensity, but still do something. This will also help to keep you in your new workout mode. If you stop until you feel better, you may not go back.

* Be patient. You may feel as if you will never be able to move again, but within 3-7 days you will be fine. If you are not OK after 7 days you will need to see a physio or doctor, as this would indicate an injury, as opposed to DOMS.

Conclusion.

There are many simple ways of dealing with muscle soreness including stretching, yoga, massage, gentle exercise, and both heat and ice. Your muscle pain will go away, and in the meantime you will feel much better if you keep working out at a lesser intensity.

Cooling Down Is Important For Less Pain And Faster Recovery

Many of us assume the most important part of working out is actually working out. Wrong, those amongst us who are constantly saying “I’m in a bit of a rush and won’t bother with cooling down” are doing themselves absolutely no favors, unless they are looking for injuries. Those extra 10-15 minutes can literally be the difference between getting out of bed the next morning pain free and a serious injury. If you are short on time, cut your workout down to enable a proper cool down. Cooling down is important for several reasons:

Cooling down can help prevent those dizzy spells and even fainting that can occur when you stop a vigorous workout suddenly. If you stop suddenly, the blood can pool in those large muscles away from your brain (like your legs) leaving your brain oxygen and blood deprived, hence the giddiness and fainting.

Cooling down is also important for allowing blood pressure, and pulse and respiration rates to return to normal in a safer manner.

Cooling down will also help the muscles start to clear out any lactic acid build up produced from a  vigorous workout. This in turns assist with muscles repairing themselves faster.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can also be minimized with a proper cooling down routine. DOMS is a term given to that sensation following a new or vigorous workout that you can encounter 1-2 days after the workout. DOMS can result in muscle stiffness and pain that is severe, making all activities feel almost impossible.

Ways to cool down.

There are a few different ways to cool down, depending upon your level of fitness and what type of activity you are doing. Whatever your fitness levels, the cooling down process involves a slower form of activity followed by stretching and then re-hydrating and refueling the muscles.

* Re-hydration and refueling
involves drinking adequate amounts of fluid, such as water, as well as perhaps a sports drink if the workout was intensive and resulted in heavy sweating. Fuels in the forms of foods such as fruits, complex carbs, and low fat proteins are all good selections for replenishment.

* The less advanced.
For those who work out more for pleasure and fitness a fairly simple cool down will be sufficient. Try for 5 minutes of your workout at a slower rate, for example slow to brisk walking, a slower speed on the exercise bike, or a slow jog if you were running, with deep breathing. The deep breaths will assist with returning oxygen to parts of the body that may be oxygen deprived.

* Gentle stretching for 5-10 minutes after this, ensuring that you include all the muscle groups that have been given a workout. A good rule of thumb is to stretch for about 10 minutes for each hour of exercise. Each muscle group should ideally be stretched 2 or 3 times each for about 20-30 seconds each time. Another benefit of post workout stretching is that your flexibility will improve dramatically since your muscles are already nicely warm when you are stretching in the cool down.

* The more advanced will need a 10-15 minute slow down of the activity that you were doing. For example a slow jog instead of running, a slower speed on a bike, or a slower walk. It is a great idea to carry on with the activity you were doing, just with less intensity. The more intense the workout, the longer the stretching should go for. A more professional athlete could be stretching for up to 20-30 minutes after a strenuous workout.

* Rug up. If you are exercising in a cool or cold climate, or in a gym with exceptionally chilly air conditioning, you may find it necessary to throw on a jacket or an extra layer to prevent your body from becoming too cold while you are cooling down.

Conclusion.

Cooling down is just as an important part of working out as warming up. A thorough cool down consists of slower activity, stretching, and adequate hydration and food. Cooling down allows the body to return to its pre-workout state, aids in recovery, and minimizes the chances of injury and delayed onset muscle soreness.

Tips For Preventing Injuries When Exercising

Regular exercise has many benefits as we all know. However, to enjoy your workouts without unnecessary blood, sweat and tears, it can be important to follow a few simple guidelines. The aim of the game is improved health not a trip to the emergency rooms. These handy hints for preventing injuries while exercising could save you a whole world of pain:

* Warm up. Warming up is one of the most vital components to any workout or physical activity. 5 minutes of gentle walking or slow cycling is ideal for loosening up the muscles and getting the heart and lungs ready for action. Warming up also helps to dramatically reduce the chances of straining muscles.

* Start slow. Yep, you want to be able to run 10 miles by the weekend. Well, that isn’t going to happen. Your muscles have memory, so start slow and you will be able to get back to where you were in college or high school reasonably quickly. Run 5 miles the first day and you probably won’t be going anywhere again for quite some time. (Assuming you don’t give yourself a heart attack.) Build up by 5 or 10 minutes daily until you reach your goals.

* Cool down. Cooling down is just as important as warming up. A 5 minute slow walk or ride at the end of your workout is great for allowing the lactic acid that has built up in your muscles to be released slowly. Adequate cooling down will help prevent those sore muscles tomorrow.

* Stretches. Stretching is great for improving your flexibility. Stretching can be done after your warm up or following the cool down while your muscles are still warm. Stretches should always be held and never bounced. Beware of overstretching.

* Listen to your Body. You know your body best. If you are feeling like you are coming down with the flu, give your body the day off. If you feel you are going to collapse halfway through your workout, stop. Any severe pain or extreme breathlessness or chest pain requires an immediate visit to the doctor. There is a great difference between pushing yourself and killing yourself in the effort.

* Aches and Pains. It is normal to feel a bit sore and tight when you first start to exercise. However, severe pain should not be ignored. If you are still sore after 2-3 days you will need to see your doctor or physio. If you should experience severe pain while working out you should stop immediately and see your doctor asap.

* Equipment. A relatively simple way to avoid injuries is to ensure you are working out with the right gear. The best running shoes will not only support your feet and ankles but provide insulation from jarring while walking or running on firm surfaces. Helmets should be worn when riding bikes outdoors.

* Keep your eyes open. When walking, biking, and especially jogging and running, it is important to keep your eyes on the track, path, or road. Unexpected obstacles and holes have been the ruin of many athletes. Keep an eye out for overhanging branches as well. If you are exercising outdoors at night time it is safer to stick to well lit public areas, and better yet to exercise with a friend.

* Mix it up. Many workout injuries are caused from overusing the same muscle groups. Mixing it up, or cross-training, can be a great way to avoid this. Choose several activities that you enjoy and mix them around. For example, you may swim, walk and ride a bike, so alternate all three each week. This is also a great way to alleviate exercise boredom.

* Rest. All this working out necessitates a rest every once in a while. Your muscles can only repair themselves when resting. If you do not allow your body to recover that small niggle will eventually become a full blown injury that will sideline you for weeks or sometimes months. A day of rest each week will also help prevent burnout and fatigue.

* Doctor’s clearance. The best way to prevent injuries is to ensure that you are actually okay to exercise in the first place. Anyone with pre-existing conditions, hasn’t exercised in a while, or is carrying a few extra pounds, should get a check up before lacing up those running shoes.

Conclusion.

Working out should be fun and all about improving your fitness levels. Exercise injuries can not only be painful but put a real dent in your fitness campaign. Take it steady, warm up, cool down, and wear the appropriate gear to give yourself the best chance of minimizing injuries.

Kids And Sports Injuries – Winning Trophies Not Plaster Casts

Growing child obesity rates are encouraging many parents to sign up their children in plenty of sports in an admirable effort to beat the puppy fat problem. Many of the sports injuries that kids suffer from can be avoided with a little knowledge and application of common sense. Kids and sports injuries don’t have to go hand in mitt. Read on for some handy hints on preventing some of those visits to the emergency room.

There are basically 3 types of sport injuries seen in kids:

1. Acute injuries. These are the ones that have parents groaning from the sidelines. The types of crashes and spills that will often necessitate a rushed visit to the nearest clinic, and may well end up with a plaster cast as a souvenir. Acute injuries often result in fractured bones, sprains, strains, torn ligaments, bruises, and more scarily, head and spinal injuries. Teens are most at risk of acute injuries.

* While some acute injuries are accidents, many can be avoided by using both correct protective gear and the proper equipment.

2. Re-injuries occur when children return to sport before their injury is fully recovered. Re-injuries can also occur when previously injured muscles and joints are not adequately warmed up or stretched prior to sport. Re-injuries can also happen when de-conditioned children go back to their sport too suddenly or do too much too soon.

3. Over-use injuries.
While participating in sports is excellent for the overall physical and mental health of children, there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Children’s bodies need time to recover and grow. Over exercising your child can result in burn out and over-use injuries. Your child’s niggling pain will never go away if it is never given a chance for recovery. Over-use injuries can result in life long problems and arthritic conditions. Is that championship or training session important enough to jeopardize your child’s long term health?

Children are more susceptible to over-use injuries as their bones and joints are still growing. Repetitive movements can stress joints and muscles. The more time your child spends on a particular sport the more chance there is of developing an over-use injury.

Common examples of over-use injuries are:

*shin splints
which cause pain at the front of the lower legs. These are normally caused by going too hard at the beginning of a season or running for too long on too hard a surface.

* swimmer’s shoulder
is characterized by pain in the back of the shoulder joint on over head movements. This is usually associated with both ball throwing and swimming.

* spondylylosis is characterized by pain in the lower back. This type of injury is seen in fast bowlers in cricket, gymnasts, divers, weight lifters, and soccer and football players. This type of injury is caused by excessive twisting, flexing, and over extending of the lower back.

* Little League elbow results in pain in the elbow joint by ball pitchers.

Ways to help minimize sports injuries:

* always use appropriate equipment and correct protective gear.
* select age and size appropriate activities.
* warm up and cool down.
* coaches should be suitably qualified.
* use correct technique.
* limit excessive movements that are repeatedly stressing particular joints.

Conclusion.

Playing sport is beneficial for all children. Many sports injuries involving kids can be avoided with a little common sense, appropriate preparation, and the correct technique.