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Why Do I Feel Sore After Strenuous Exercise?

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 1:50 PM

We all know that exercising can leave our muscles feeling sore and stiff. The question is WHY? Why do my muscles feel achy and sore to the touch. How come I am stiff in the morning getting out of bed?


Here is why:


Muscles need energy


Our body produces energy to sustain extended periods of muscle exertion. Our body needs oxygen to perform this process which is called aerobic respiration.


This process is done by converting glucose (sugar) into pyruvate (an organic acid that supplies energy to living cells). This is done when aerobic activity is present. Over the course of exercise, lactate or lactic acid is produced from pyruvate. In short, this chemical compound helps maintain energy production throughout the length of activity in which lactate concentration rises.


Imagine a camera inside of a beer cask that is in the fermentation stage. Initially it is just water, yeast and hops (or whatever else you throw in), then the carbohydrates and the yeast introduced begins to turn into alcohol. The longer it sits the more sediment builds and the cloudier it becomes. Then it is filtered out and we have a delicious brew.


But what if it wasn't filtered? This process applies to our muscles as well. If this sediment builds up in our muscles and is not removed, our muscles react accordingly. We get sore and stiff! Lactic acid is exactly that... an acid, it irritates the muscle fibers as well as putting the body through strenuous activity causing them to swell and stiffen.


Here is another analogy.... Imagine now that you are at your sink about to do the dishes. You have a sponge in one hand and a plate in the other covered in spaghetti sauce, but before you get the sponge wet you start to clean the plate. You will notice that the spaghetti sauce just smears around the plate, the sponge doesn't soak up the sauce and it just a bigger mess. This obviously is not cleaning the plate. Now, rinse the sponge under the running faucet and allow the clean and fresh water to saturate the dry sponge and flush out all the sauce and impurities it is holding. This analogy also applies to your muscles. Lactic acid build-up, impurities from chemicals, artificial dyes, and sediment settle in your muscles and need to be flushed out.


Here's how you can reduce the amount of impurities in your body to reduce muscle soreness and increase athletic performance:


Drink adequate amounts of water


We need water to flush out the muscles as does the sponge for cleaning. We need water for proper organ function and to clean the blood as well. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when not exercising.


You work diligently and may forget to drink water. Here is a way to help you stay hydrated at work.


Health Hack: Find a aesthetically pleasing bottle. Fill it with tap water and sit it on your desk in a in eyes view. When you look at it and your body is thirsty it will trigger you to think about drinking. Have another bottle with filtered water handy or get up and go to the water cooler. Taking a many small sips throughout the day can help give the body the hydration it needs to keep you functioning well.


Stretch Daily


The water we drink needs help flushing the muscles. Stretching contracts and elongates the muscle fibers to help excrete metabolic waste and pull in water, blood and needed nutrients for tissue repair. Stretching also helps keeps our joints and skeletal system healthy. Creating space between the joints allows the cartilage and bursa to stay healthy by allowing blood and bursa fluid to enter the joint space. This allows your joints to move freely without pain. The tighter your joints are, the less movement you have and you increase the risk of muscle injury.


Foam Rolling


Foam rolling is a great addition to your stretching routine. All you need is 5 minutes of rolling before exercise to stimulate blood flow and prepare the nervous system and 5 minutes after exercise to help stimulate waste elimination. Imaging pulling an inflated balloon on both ends away from each other. Then visualize someone compressing the balloon from the top and bottom. If this balloon was porous the air would start to seep out. Foam rolling compresses your congested muscle fibers and helps to excrete metabolic waste.


Call and ask about my personalized foam rolling class to show you how to use the foam roller properly for your best recovery.


Regular Sports Massage, Thai or Shiatsu


Getting Sports Massage sessions regularly:


Re-balances postural misalignment that contributes to hip, knee and foot pain.

Improves waste elimination to minimize muscle soreness

Improves joint health

Increases flexibility

Facilitates faster tissue healing

Increases athletic performance.


These are just a few benefits from Sports Massage. Regular communication between your nervous system, muscle and fascial systems will help your body run optimally and move better in your sport and in everyday life activities.


Thai and Shiatsu Massage is a compression therapy that can help eliminate waste and increase flexibility.


Give us a call to help you eliminate muscle and joint pain, help you move the way you were meant to move and play life at your best!


Categories: Exercise and Fitness

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