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TOPIC: How to help your body recover from strenuous exercise

 
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March 3, 2010 8:56 AM
I have been faithfully working out daily for a while now - all cardio, like elliptical, running, biking, etc. Today I tried out a class at the gym and it was called "Sculpt and Tone". 60 minutes of exercising with weights at a fast pace to aerobics music. Things like squats, lunges, flys, etc. I know I will be outrageously sore later since I'm new to lifting weights, even though I used small weights, this wore me out! How can I help my muscles recover the best? I ate something right after class, and I drink plenty of water. I'm thinking hot bath or hot shower - what else will help me recover quicker and be ready to do more cardio by tomorrow?
March 3, 2010 9:05 AM
Sounds like you're motivated.

As a quick aside, for someone not new to weights, the sort of weight training you did yesterday would be considered cardio even though you're moving weights. For a novice, this sort of training can provide a stimulus to increase strength and muscle mass. As your body acclimates, however, it'll be important to do more traditional types of resistance training assuming your goal is to maintain/build muscle while losing fat - which is often the case even when people know it or not.

As far as recovery goes, there's not a whole lot you can do. I'd do some static stretching and maybe some massage (if you have a nice husband or boyfriend). Some anti-inflammatories might be called for too.

But sometimes, simply allowing time for recovery is important. If you're overly sore by the time the next exercise session rolls around, simply skip it. It's not going to make or break you and in fact, it might help you.
March 3, 2010 9:06 AM
Like you said, drink A LOT of water!
And hot water isn't actually good for your muscles. You don't want to do anything they'd react too quickly to (aka ice them immediately or take a hot bath). I'd recommend taking a luke warm bath and doing a bunch of stretching tomorrow. The whole point of strength training is to break down and rebuild your muscles, so even though you will be super sore tomorrow, it's pretty important to do your cardio.
If you're in a lot of pain, try the elliptical for cardio. I love running, but when I'm hurt the elliptical is the way to go. It's much gentler on your legs.
That sounds like an amazing class, though. Good for you!!!
March 3, 2010 9:06 AM
If you overdid it you will be extremely sore. I have always heard you should eat some extra protein to help build up the muscles that were used. After using weights for the first time I was sore for days and I didn't even feel I had given it my all. Good luck!
March 3, 2010 9:08 AM
You are doing exactly what I would do. I've been doing P90X for awhile and the post workout recovery keys for me are:

1) Protein shake and more water within an hour of the workout's end
2) I take a long hot shower and let the water pound those poor muscles. I spend the last five minutes cooling the water down more and more until it almost feels cold. To me, it's very refreshing to end that way.
3) I do a few minutes of light static and ballistic stretching right before bed and as soon as I get up.
March 3, 2010 9:17 AM
Interestingly enough I was asking myself similar questions yesterday, and I found a really good article.

http://www.poweringmuscles.com/article.php?id=55

Basically three are two main reasons your muscle hurt afterward: mechanical stress (which is the physical micro tears which do occur when you train), inflammation which occurs as blood rushes to the site to help repair torn muscle fiber, and oxidative stress, (when you train your body requires much larger amounts of oxygen, as a result you take more in to meet these demands. However oxygen easily loses electrons in the atmosphere, making it unstable, ( this unstable oxygen is better known as "free radicals" ) which in turn pull extra electrons from your muscle fibers to stabilize them. There's really not much you can do about the third reason, although I've read a diet high in vitamins A, C, E as well as beta carotene and selenium can help. For the inflammation, any sort of cool compress or shower will help, as well as light stretching if you begin to stiffen up.

That's basically a summary of what i got from the site, hope it helps =)
  132059
March 3, 2010 9:26 AM
The best way to avoid muscle soreness is not to push yourself too hard to begin with. Once you have, the damage is done and you pretty much have to just work through it over the next week.

People should realize that there is no shame to doing 1/2 the reps--or even less-- in a new class. Me, I hate muscle soreness, so I am willing to endure a little "embarrassment" to avoid a week of misery.
March 3, 2010 9:40 AM
I know what you mean i've been working out non stop for three weeks now and been with a personal trainer i was extremely sore one day and just decided to take a day off rest your muscles and true eat more protein t help your muscles build up.
Also after each work out i go to the steam room or sauna for about 30 minutes to relax that tends to help a bit. So far its been working for me i just started and have lost 7 pounds to date.happy
  727680
March 3, 2010 10:04 AM
"Pain is weakness leaving the body!" HA! I saw that on a shirt and every time I experience muscle soreness I just think of that! I look at muscle soreness in a way that it tells me I have worked out hard. It means I have pushed my muscles to a new limit. A warm bathing, wading in a pool, Ibuprofen, stretching, massage and ice helps for swelling and warm packs for pain. But with new exercise regimens and adding more weight to your training, you will experience soreness. It is normal. =) I find that getting back into it helps. If you can get passed the first few minutes of pain, your muscles will stop reminding you that they are so sore.

Check out this link http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/sore-muscles-keep-exercising

And when you need to, take a day off from the gym or go for a light walk. The more you move your sore muscles the better they will feel.
  213512

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