What is delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS?
Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is the soreness you may feel after doing exercise. This phenomenon often occurs when you first begin a new workout program, and it is especially common when you go from being almost completely sedentary to working out on a regular basis.
Because the workout program may be quite a challenge for you in the beginning, your muscles will be shocked at the new work they have to do. Delayed onset muscle soreness often occurs between one and two days after you have done the initial activity.
One thing to remember is that you should not be afraid of delayed onset muscle soreness as it is completely normal when you start a new exercise routine. There’s no need to stop working out. With that said, you may want to do a few things to prevent this muscle strain.
Stretch before working out
Stretching is a great way to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness, but don’t expect it to fully prevent this normal occurrence of pain in your muscles.
When you do stretch before your workout, make sure you actually do a little warm-up before the stretching even begins. Try jumping jacks or running in place. Even stretching can be hard on your muscles. Do not stretch your muscles to the extent that you feel pain, but you should feel a little strain on them to know the stretching is working.
Start slowly with your new routine
If you have a lot of motivation, it may be tempting to jump right into your new exercise program. Having motivation is definitely good, but make sure you treat your body kindly and start slowly with your new routine. For example, if you want to work on getting leaner legs and thighs, don’t jump into doing 50 squats with weights all at once. Instead, work up to 50 squats by starting your first week with 20 to 30 a day and ramping it up 10 additional squats each week.
Vary your workout routine
Finally, remember to vary your workout routine as you move ahead. Do not work only your arms for a week or two at a time, but switch between your arms and legs, for example.
You also might consider switching between cardiovascular workouts and strength training workouts. For example, you might switch between running on the treadmill and lifting weights or using weight lifting machines in the gym.
Most physical fitness experts agree that you should work out between five and six days per week and leave at least one day for rest. Having these one or two days for rest will definitely lessen the degree to which you feel delayed onset muscle soreness.