Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is pain and discomfort felt in muscles several hours to days after exercise.  Soreness is a result of micro trauma caused to the muscle during the activity.  Here are 5 simple steps to help reduce and/or prevent DOMS.

  1. Drink Water – If you’re thirsty during your work out, you are already dehydrated.  Stay hydrated and you will be less likely to cause lactic acid build up.
  2. Pre-Exercise Warm Up- Generating a light sweat and completing a few warm up-sets of each exercise before performing them may be effective at reducing some symptoms.
  3. Low intensity aerobic cool down – Low intensity biking and deep breathing helps the body switch back from an anaerobic process (no oxygen as you overwork your muscles) to an aerobic one where you are providing your body with more oxygen and allowing it to heal faster.
  4. Stretch – Stretching your muscles can help reduce soreness post-workout.
  5. Active Rest – If you are not in too much discomfort the 1-2 days post-workout, perform light exercise (i.e. low intensity biking, walking, etc.) and allow your muscle group that you previously worked some time to recover.

Massage, soft tissue mobilization, and ice may also assist in relieving some symptoms.  Consult your Physiotherapy or Chiropractic healthcare professional if your symptoms persist or for additional information.