Dealing with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

If you’ve ever exercised, you’ve probably already met our old friend DOMS. DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and is the biting painful feeling of soreness of over-worked muscles. It usually happens when you begin a new program of exercise, or charge up your current exercise routine and start working new muscles, or the same muscles in new ways.

DOMS is not caused by lactic acid as many people wrongly believe. It’s caused by the tiny damage that exercise makes to microscopic muscle fibers. Anyone can experience DOMS, even people who’ve been exercising for years. This type of muscle soreness or stiffness only lasts for 3-5 days, but it’s uncomfortable to experience, and so lots of people are interested in reducing its effects.

Although it’s impossible to completely escape this type of muscle soreness if you’re tearing those tiny muscle fibers, it is possible to reduce the effects of post-exercise muscle soreness:

The Foam Roller: It can feel like unbearable torture to some, but many people use cylindrical form rollers to reduce the impact of muscle soreness. Using body weight exercises, you can use a foam cylinder to roll out the tightness of the muscles and the tissue that connects them.

Go Hot and Cold: Increasing blood flow reduces the effects of DOMS. So, experts advise that you switch between hot and cold showers to improve blood flow to the affected muscles. By switching from the dilation to constriction of the blood vessels in the area of soreness, the DOMS will be reduced to 1 or 2 days.

Eat Berries: By eating or drinking (in the form of a smoothie) blueberries, you can really reduce the pain and damage caused by DOMS. Blueberries contain anthocyanin which encourages the flow of oxygen to your muscles. You have to eat an awful lot of blueberries to benefit, but it may be worth it to reduce that old familiar pain.

Eat Cherries: Just like with the blueberries, by eating cherries, or drinking natural cherry juice, you can increase how much oxygen makes it to the muscles in pain. This will reduce the …

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