Why Muscle Pain After Exercise
In medical terms, muscle pain and stiffness that occurs after exercise is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. This condition usually occurs in people who have not done sports for a long time so that they experience muscle aches. Usually, muscle pain appears 1-2 days after exercise. The pain and the length of time experienced also depend on the intensity of the exercise performed.
This condition can cause complaints of mild to severe muscle pain, muscle stiffness, aches, slight swelling of the muscles, and temporary reduced muscle strength. If the muscles are rested, complaints of pain and stiffness will usually improve faster.
People who experience sore muscles are caused by muscle damage and the process of restoring the muscles. Protein exits the injured cell while fluid and white blood cells restore the muscle. Over time, muscle cells are repaired and new cells are developed. All of this causes your muscles to feel sore.
Fortunately, this pain in the muscles will reduce and recover by itself when the muscles are used to the physical activity being carried out. Basically, muscle soreness after exercise is part of the adaptation process to make the body stronger.
Causes of Muscle Pain After Exercise
After doing high-intensity exercise, DOMS can occur when the body’s muscle tissue tries to adapt by repairing and increasing muscle mass. This reaction is actually a normal thing to happen.
Although the exact mechanism is unknown, several studies have concluded that DOMS can occur as a result of:
- Lactic acid buildup as a result of muscle metabolism
- Minor muscle injury
- Damage to connective tissue and muscles
- Inflammation of the muscles
- Changes in electrolyte and enzyme levels in muscles
People who rarely warm up or do not warm up well before exercising have a high risk of developing DOMS.
Preventing Muscle Pain After Exercise
Muscle soreness after exercising often appears. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be prevented so that the pain isn’t too great. Here are some things you can do.
- Start the exercise routine gradually, don’t go straight to the weight level so that the muscles get used to it.
- Don’t skip warming up and stretching before exercising. This is very important to reduce the risk of injury that can occur.
- Before exercising in the gym or other physical activity, fulfill your nutritional needs first with nutritious food and drinks. Also prepare water to avoid dehydration during exercise.
Reducing Muscle Pain After Exercise
Launching from various sources, there are several ways to deal with muscle pain or muscle pain relief after exercise. Here are some of them:
1. Drink Enough
Meet fluid needs during and after exercise. Hydration is an important aspect of the muscle recovery phase. Water keeps fluids in the body moving smoothly. In addition, water can also reduce inflammation and nourish the muscles. Before the body becomes dehydrated with urine color indicators, there is enough fluid supply for the body.
2. Light Massage
Giving a light massage to the body after exercise helps muscles relax and relieves muscle pain. Light massage with or without tools can also help move body fluids that have accumulated in the muscles after exercise.
3. Eat half an hour after exercise
The supply of nutritious nutrients can accelerate the process of cell regeneration. Give intake of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins from fruits and vegetables in a balanced composition.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting enough rest after intense exercise is also important to increase protein production. This process is important to get the muscles back in top condition. It is recommended to sleep at least seven hours a night after exercise.
5. Light exercise
Although the muscles need rest, but you still need to do light exercise everyday. Try gentle body movements, such as light walking, biking, swimming, or yoga. This is necessary for smooth blood circulation. Do not choose excessive or exhausting exercise because it can actually increase muscle damage. By doing light exercise, muscles get a sufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to repair damaged cells.
6. Take a warm bath
Hot showers can relieve muscle pain and improve blood circulation. This can relieve the pain at least temporarily.
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