Six Ways to Prevent Post-Workout DOMs

fitness healthy living midlife athlete Sep 06, 2020

It’s always so exciting to start a new fitness program. Whether it’s switching up your normal routine and trying something new (something I personally love to do every six to eight weeks to keep my body progressing), or jumping back into fitness after a short (or even long) hiatus.

So was yesterday YOUR day 1? If so, you may be a little sore today. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Even those that workout daily can sometimes feel a great workout days later. It happens to the best of us!!
Welcome to DOMS . . . delayed-onset muscle soreness. You know when you feel the burn long after your workout is done, while your muscles recover and rebuild? When sitting down is a reminder of all the hard work you put in the day before.
 When you exercise, you cause micro-tears in your muscle tissue which leads to delayed onset muscle soreness. This typically develops 12 to 24 hours after a tough workout, and can linger two or three days. The most common symptoms include slight swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the affected joints, and increased tenderness and reduced strength in the affected muscles.
Don’t fret . . . if you take the right steps after your workout, you can reduce the amount of time you feel sore and be ready to knock out another great sweat session tomorrow!
 Here are 6 easy ways to prevent post-workout pain:

1. Stretch --> Stretching is your first line of defense after a good workout. When you train, you contract your muscles, and the muscle fibers get shorter. Lengthening them after a workout promotes mobility, and can lead to a more thorough recovery.

 2. Foam roll --> Using a foam roller to massage your sore muscles after a workout can reduce DOMS significantly, helping you feel fresh come tomorrow.
 3. Massage your sore spots --> Don’t limit foam rolling to your Sunday recovery routine. Do it between workouts to ease muscle soreness and boost mobility. A tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or massage gun are great recovery tools to have on hand.
 4. Eat for recovery --> Even if you’re eating at a calorie deficit, you want to make sure to get enough healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, all which play important roles in repairing and maintaining muscles, and warding off sore muscles. When your muscles are sore, inflammation is a significant part of the problem. To help reduce this inflammation, consume foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids—such as salmon, free-range meat, flax, avocado, and walnuts—to your diet. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of these foods can help dial back soreness after overexertion.
  • Consuming an adequate amount of protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild. It's recommended that you consume 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight within 30-60 minutes of your workout. [Eggs, Greek yogurt, Cottage cheese, Salmon, Chicken, Protein bar (check the sugar), Tuna]

  • Your body's glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and consuming carbs after your workout helps replenish them. Try consuming 0.5–0.7 grams of carbs per pound of body weight within 30-60 minutes after training. [Sweet potatoes, Chocolate milk, Quinoa, Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi), Rice cakes, Oatmeal, Dark, leafy green vegetables]

  • Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows down digestion and inhibits the absorption of nutrients. But I promise you there are some great benefits to adding a little healthy fat to your post-workout meal. [Avocado, Nuts, Nut butters, Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)]

  • Of course . . . HYDRATE!!

The best post workout options:

  •  Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables.
  • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.

  • Salmon with sweet potato.

  • Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread.

  • Tuna and crackers.

  • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana and almonds.

  • Cottage cheese and fruits.

  • Pita and hummus.

  • Rice crackers and peanut butter.

  • Whole grain toast and almond butter.

  • Greek yogurt, berries and granola.

  • Protein shake and banana.

  • Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans.

5. Heat --> Heat increases circulation (especially focused heat like that of a Jacuzzi, hot shower, or Epsom salt bath) making it a powerful recovery tool between workouts.

 6. Keep moving --> The last thing you want to do when everything hurts is to move, but that’s exactly what you need to do! Get up and move around throughout the day. Loosen up those legs, knock out a couple of squats, stretch those arms, move your body!
 There you have it - six ways to work out the soreness and make sure you are ready for day 2!
 What's your favorite way to recover from a great workout?

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