Foolproof Ways You Can Exercise Stiffness Away
While it may sound illogical, the reality is that exercise can be an effective cure for stiffness. This may not be a huge surprise to those of you who exercise regularly. Have your ever woken up feeling stiff after a serious workout the previous day, only for that stiffness to work itself out as soon as you start to walk or put yourself through a yoga session? By simply changing the way in which you work out, you can cure those stiff joints and aching muscles while also potentially steering clear of future pain and stiffness. We've put together a few tips that you should follow to avoid stiffness caused by exercise and even exercise stiffness away.
Know The Cause
To begin with, you should know the cause of your discomfort. While you might feel great after a workout, the stiffness arrives a little later via what is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This stiffness was previously blamed on a buildup of lactic acid, but it is now believed that inflammation is the culprit. That's good news because muscles are able to repair themselves as they grow bigger and stronger. Pain felt during or immediately after a workout is a different kind of muscle soreness. It’s called acute muscle soreness. Acute muscle soreness is the burning sensation you feel in your muscles during a workout due to a quick buildup of lactic acid. It typically disappears shortly after you stop exercising.
- Don’t overdo it. – We all want to get fit and healthy as quickly as possible, but you can do more damage than good if you do not pace yourself. Gradually increase the length or intensity of your workouts by about 10% each week for best results.
- Limit eccentric contractions. – Eccentric contractions play a major role in DOMS. This is where the muscles lengthen under pressure, which happen when you are running or walking downhill, lowering weights, etc. Take real care when performing these types of movements.
- Take a rest day. – Again, this is all about pacing yourself. If you are particularly sore after a vigorous workout, allow yourself a break for a day or two to allow the DOMS to pass.
- Find some relief. – There is nothing that you can do to cure DOMS, but there are some temporary relief measures that you can take. Try using foam rollers or going for a sports massage to see if those work for you.
- Build strength. – If you suffer from arthritis or other similar conditions, you might believe that exercise will compound the issue. This is not true, as strong muscles take the pressure off your joints and support bones. Bodyweight exercises and weight training are great options to begin with.
- Use a wider range of motion. – Simple movements such as legs lifts and shoulder rolls will help with joint flexibility and balance, so make them a part of your daily routine.
- Stay with low impact exercises. – To reduce the risk of injury, steer clear of high impact exercises such as running. Swimming is one activity that is low impact and an excellent full body workout.
- Shed some pounds. – Extra weight is just one of the things that might be contributing to your pain. Losing weight will help relieve some of the stress on your joints.
- Get moving. – You don’t need to have a gym membership to get active. Go for a walk or spend an hour doing house or yard work. Do whatever it takes to get moving regularly.
- Seek out physical therapy. – If your pain is particularly bad, skip the painkillers and surgeries by trying a physical therapist first. They can cater specific exercise routines and changes to your daily activities that will almost certainly make a positive difference.
- Consult your physician. – A little bit of pain and stiffness after a tough workout is natural, but there are times when a doctor visit might be needed. Specifically, if there is visible swelling or sharp pain during and following exercise, you may need to talk to your doctor to see if you are aggravating a specific condition you are currently dealing with.
You Must Learn to Exercise Stiffness Away
If you exercise on a regular basis, being able to deal with stiffness is critical. In order to stay physically active and move towards a healthier life, learning to exercise stiffness away should become a key component of your fitness program. If you're still early in your fitness lifestyle, by all means exercise regularly, but don't overdo it. Instead, gradually increase the length and intensity of workouts to avoid potential injuries and muscle pain.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Help
If you're experiencing stiffness or pain that won't go away and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works with hundreds of coaches, personal trainers, and physical therapists. We'd be happy to refer you to one who can help. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories of all kinds, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget and we're here to make your fitness routine more productive. Stop by our store in Thousand Oaks or give us a call. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.