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Muscle Soreness Body Fatigue Exercise Recovery Is Important & Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

I recently embarked on what some people (me) would describe as an intensive exercise regime, and was unable to walk properly for the following week.

Getting out of bed required enormous willpower, walking down stairs was a precarious and daunting challenge, and bending to pick something up off the ground was out of the question.

I learnt my lesson, and vowed never to exercise again.

(No, no. Just kidding! Exercise is very important. Don’t stop.)

It was a good reminder, though, of the importance of exercise recovery, both to ease the pain of sore muscles and to keep consistency to my workout routine.

So, to find out how it’s best done, I called recovery scientist and former director of the Australian Olympic Committee’s Recovery Centre, Shona Halson.

“People tend to think of recovery as ice baths and compression garments,” said Dr Halson, who is also an associate professor at the Australian Catholic University.

“But recovery is the foundational things like sleep and nutrition.

“Those are the things we should all be doing well. The other techniques … they’re more like the icing on the cake.”

Firstly, why am I so sore?

A couple of things can happen when we exercise: fatigue and soreness.

“The fitter you are and the more accustomed you are to doing a particular type of exercise, the less fatigue and soreness you’re likely to have,” Dr Halson said.

But the type of exercise matters too.

Muscle fatigue typically arises from exercise that involves “concentric contractions” (where the muscle is shortening) and no impact with the ground such as swimming and cycling.

“You can swim for hours, you can cycle for hours. And you burn fuel, but you don’t really get super sore, you get more tired,” Dr Halson said.

Muscle soreness, on the other hand, comes about after exercise that involves the lengthening of muscles.

This can break the connections between muscle fibres, causing inflammation and swelling.

“That swelling causes the soreness,” Dr Halson explained.

The microscopic damage our muscles accrue can be the result of impact with the ground, for example through running, or with another person if you play contact sport.

It also happens when we force our muscles to work harder than usual, or exercise muscle groups we don’t normally use.

“Weight training is another type of exercise typically associated with soreness,” Dr Halson said.

“You have some shortening muscle contractions, but you also usually have some lengthening contractions, and it’s those lengthening contractions that cause the soreness.”

While the fatigue most people feel from activities like cycling and swimming tends to go away quickly, soreness from damaged muscle fibres can last for a few days.

Soreness isn’t a bad sign

If it takes up to 72 hours for soreness to go away after exercise, it’s probably a sign that you have induced a fair bit of muscle damage, Dr Halson said.

While it’s not much fun at the time, making progress with your fitness usually means pushing yourself a little bit more each time, she said.

“You’re not going to keep improving if you don’t generate some soreness and fatigue. It’s part of the process.”

That being said, soreness that doesn’t go away after three to five days may be a sign you’ve pushed yourself too hard.

If you are trying to build up your exercise routine, it’s important to do it gradually, and allow your muscles to adapt and repair.

But what if I’m a regular exerciser?

Consistent exercise provides somewhat of a protective effect against muscle fatigue and soreness.

“You’re still putting stress and strain through the muscles … it’s just you adapt,” Dr Halson said.

However, people who regularly work out still encounter muscle soreness because they’re often building their strength or aerobic fitness over time.

“You’ll up your weights, or try to run a bit further or a bit faster,” she said.

“Often, if you do exercise that you haven’t done before and you exercise quite extremely, it can be really painful.”

What’s the best way to recover?

Sleep is the answer

“Sleep is the most powerful recovery strategy that you have,” according to Dr Halson.

It’s well known sleep is important for brain function and memory consolidation. But, she said, it also plays a key role in restoring and repairing muscle tissue.

“Sleep is one of the most active times both from a physical and mental recovery perspective. There’s hormone release, muscle repair and restoring of the brain.”

Stay hydrated

When we exercise, our muscles initially use their stores of carbohydrates for fuel, before burning fat.

Sports drinks, which typically contain water and electrolytes for rehydration and carbohydrates (as sugars) for energy, were originally designed to replenish fluid and provide extra fuel for intense, long-lasting exercise.

But water should meet most people’s fluid requirements unless you’re a professional athlete, Dr Halson said.

“It’s important to rehydrate if you’ve lost fluid, and one of the best ways is to measure yourself pre and post-[workout], and replace 150 per cent of what you’ve lost.”

When it comes to food, Dr Halson said it was important to replenish any carbohydrates depleted during exercise, and protein — the main nutrient needed for muscle repair.

If you’re doing high intensity interval training or weight lifting, for example, you might want to focus especially on protein. If you work out is predominantly cardio-based, you should be looking at carbohydrate replacement.

“It just depends on your activity.”

Compression can work

While compression garments aren’t necessary for most people’s exercise recovery, Dr Halson said they can help reduce the perception of soreness.

“There are a couple of theories behind compression garments,” she said.

“One of the main ones is that the tightness [of the garment] basically compresses the superficial veins close to the skin, particularly in the legs, and that forces the blood to flow through deeper vessels.”

That increase in blood flow can help to clear “some of the waste products” in the blood, she said.

“That can be good for inflammation and swelling, which we know is what partly causes that soreness.”

Ice, ice baby

Ice baths are a popular recovery tool for athletes, and for good reason; like compression garments, water can be compressive.

“There’s hydrostatic pressure in water, so it has that similar effect on blood flow,” Dr Halson said.

But the benefits of ice baths can be achieved without actually filling up a bath tub with ice.

“As long as the water is colder than your skin temperature [about 34 degrees Celsius] … it will eventually cool you down.”

That means jumping into a cold swimming pool or the ocean after exercising can help to reduce soreness. Even a cold shower — though it won’t provide the hydrostatic pressure of a body of water — isn’t a bad place to start.

But what about the effects of freezing cold… air?

Cryotherapy is a treatment that involves exposing the body to freezing or near-freezing temperatures for several minutes, and its use has grown in recent years.

“There is a little bit of science … mainly in patients with rheumatic arthritis or an inflammatory disease,” Dr Halson said.

“But what you don’t get with cryotherapy chambers … is the hydrostatic pressure of water.”

Dr Halson said the evidence for water immersion was stronger. Plus, a dip in the ocean is free.

Stretch if you feel like it

For something so many of us do either before or after exercise, there isn’t a whole lot of evidence that stretching is effective at reducing injury risk.

“A lot of athletes say that if they don’t stretch, they feel more sore the next day,” Dr Halson said.

“But in terms of scientific evidence to say we should be stretching after exercise, there’s not a huge amount.”

For those who find it beneficial, there’s no reason to stop, she said.

“Stretching can be something that might reduce soreness and stiffness, especially if you’re someone that’s doing something you’re not really accustomed to.”

Listen to your body

Sometimes, when your muscles are feeling sore or fatigued, it can be helpful to do some gentle exercise to “work through the soreness and stiffness”.

But taking periods of rest is also important.

“If you look at elite athletes, even they would have one day a week off,” Dr Halson said.

“So, I think your average person should be looking to have at least one day [per week] of complete rest.”

The most important thing to do is listen to your body.

“If you are a bit sore, starting to get really tired, maybe not concentrating at work, or you feel like you might be getting sick, having a day off in the long run is probably better for you.”

By: Olivia Willis

Source: Muscle soreness? Body fatigue? Exercise recovery is important, and shouldn’t be overlooked – Health – ABC News

Stretching is a great way to minimize post workout soreness. Using ice packs and massaging sore muscles also can help with any sore spots. Premier Health Physical Therapist, Greg Schultz, talks more about how to minimize post-workout soreness. #Conditioning

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Wanna Live Longer? Just Do Something. Anything, Really

The notion that exercise is good for you is about as well established at this point as gravity, but new research continues to put an ever finer point on it.

 As things like whatever you’re reading this on have made us more sedentary, researchers have found that even low intensity physical activity has measurable health benefits, including the biggest benefit of all: a longer life.

A recently published study by an international team found that doing more physical activity – even something as simple as cooking, washing dishes or walking slowly – is linked with a lower risk of early death in middle-aged and older folks.

You may have heard or just assumed that you need to break a sweat or get your heart rate up to the point that you’re panting for exercise to really be of any benefit.

People with busy modern schedules may have a hard time fitting in all that sweating, especially when you add the time it takes to get ready and then clean yourself up afterward.

“It has previously been widely assumed that more is better in terms of physical activity for health,” said Tom Yates, a professor at the University of Leicester and a co-author of the paper, which was published in the journal BMJ. “However, this study suggests health may be optimized with just 24 minutes per day of brisk walking or other forms of moderate-intensity physical activity.”

You can also add this study to the pile of evidence that says too much sitting is literally killing you.

“Another important finding was that spending 9.5 hours or more each day sedentary – which essentially means sitting – was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of death, with each hour more above this threshold increasing the risk of death further.”

Co-author Charlotte Edwardson, also from Leicester, said the study reinforces the idea that ‘doing something is better than doing nothing,’ even if it just means standing up for a bit at work.

“A large risk reduction was seen between the least and the second least active group suggesting that incorporating some time doing physical activity, light or moderate intensity, in daily life is associated with a big health benefit.”

Living a longer life could be as simple as standing up while you read things like this, so long as you’re not crossing the street.

By: Eric Mack

Source: Wanna Live Longer? Just Do Something. Anything, Really.

Gadgets and their ever increasing speed have become firehoses of information. Our nervous systems are awash in bits and bytes by the trillions around the clock whether we’re online or not, awake or sleeping. In this talk, Pack will describe vital behavioral strategies we can re-learn and re-purpose to leverage and focus upon to create virtuous feedback circles.

About Pack:
Pack Matthews is known in Columbia, Missouri primarily as a local musician, yoga instructor and piano tuner, and has recently added the moniker “inventor” to his credentials. His passions are numerous and leave him making hard choices to avoid becoming a jack of all trades. So far he’s keeping them focused on Jazz piano and bass while devoting most of his time to his start- up, mysoulseat.com. He particularly enjoys unearthing the depth of talented people here in Columbia.

TEDxCoMo, held April 6, 2013 at the historic Missouri Theatre in Columbia, Missouri, was produced by Keith Politte and Cale Sears. Event website: TEDxCoMo.org

How To Cool Down After Exercise

We learn at school that warming up before training or playing sport is vital, but cooling down is every bit as important. We are taught from childhood that warming up is a must in preparation for any exercise. It allows us to gear our muscles up for the strain we are about to place on them and prevent injury. More importantly, it steadily increases the heart rate and circulation, which loosens joints and increases blood flow to the muscles. These all help towards an effective workout.

But cooling down is as important as warming up. It prevents dizziness, helps return the heart rate back to normal and prevents chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Also known as “blood pooling”, CVI occurs when the blood in blood vessels expands during prolonged exercise, making it difficult for it to return to the heart from the legs.

According to many health and fitness instructors, the total cool-down period should last three to 10 minutes, or until you are ready to stop. Areas to target depend on which part of the body you trained. For example, if you have been working your legs, you will need to do lower body stretches or a slow walk. There are many helpful tutorials online.

The best way to measure whether you have cooled down effectively is purely based on common sense – if you feel your heart rate has reduced, that’s enough. If you wear a heart rate monitor, that will also tell you once your heart rate has returned to normal. There is no research to prove stretching after a session will help reduce soreness, but if you feel it helps, there is no harm in it, do so – it is down to personal preference.

Cooling down methods, including foam rollers, a sports massage or dry needling are worth investigating. If you experience any pain when stretching, stop, and consult your doctor or a physio if the pain is there the next day, and, more importantly, warm up more thoroughly next time.

By:  Callum Nicholls

Callum Nicholls is a trainer at Third Space and Barry’s Bootcamp. Interview by Joti Birdi

Source: How to cool down after exercise

Calorie burn & more for this Fitness Blender Workout @ http://bit.ly/18rZ7TK Lose 16-24 lbs in 8 weeks with our free workout videos – find out how @ http://bit.ly/13EdZgX Follow Fitness Blender on Facebook @ http://on.fb.me/zDxh3R We just joined Instagram @ http://bit.ly/Rhulcj Note: All information provided by Fitness Blender is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only.
No information is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk and hold Fitness Blender harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.

Unlock Your Hip Flexors – The “Hidden Survival Muscle” In Your Body Missed By Modern Physicians That Keep Millions Of Men And Women Defeated By Pain

The shocking ways that tight hips are holding you back…that you won’t believe

Here’s the truth: Most people don’t realize the cause of their problems is tight hip flexors.

The impact the hips had on the whole body never occurred to me until I saw the effect of tight hip flexors had on the health and well-being of my wife after she gave birth.

It was only then that I truly understood the magnitude of the problem.

We’re not just talking about a bit of soreness; tight hip flexors are the root cause of problems such as:

  • Nagging joint pains in your legs, lower back or hips
  • Walking with discomfort
  • Hips locking up
  • Bad posture
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sluggishness in day to day life
  • High Anxiety
  • Digestive problems
  • Compromised Immune System
  • Circulatory issues
  • Loss of sexual performance
  • Lack of Explosiveness in the gym or sports

If any of these sound familiar to you, don’t worry because you’re not alone.

Tight hip flexors affect nearly everybody, but few realize the impact on your whole body.

Again, everything flows through the hips.

Think of the hips as a barometer. The health and flexibility of your hip muscles are an indicator of the strength and health of our whole body.

And at the very heart of this is the “hidden” most powerful survival Muscle. When this muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

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Introducing The Body’s Most Powerful, Primal Muscle… … That You’ve Never Heard Of

Your hips are the bridge between your upper body and lower body. They are at the center of your body’s movement.

Sitting within the well of your hip and lower spine is the psoas major muscle, one of the two muscles that makes up the iliopsoas.

It’s often called the “mighty” psoas (pronounced so-az) for the many important functions it plays in the movement of your body.

The psoas is the only muscle in the human body connecting the upper body to the lower body.

The muscle attaches to the vertebrae of the lower spine, moves through the pelvis and connects to a tendon at the top of the femur. It also attaches to the diaphragm, so it’s connected to your breathing, and upon it sits all the major organs.

A functioning psoas muscle creates a neutral pelvic alignment, stabilizes the hips, supports the lower spine and abdomen, supports the organs in the pelvic and abdominal cavity and gives you greater mobility and core strength.

When it functions well, it has the power to…

  • … help you achieve peak performance day after day after day.
  • … rapidly drop ugly body fat that stubbornly clings to your body.
  • … train harder, heavier and gain strength faster than you thought possible.
  • … hit your peak of sexual health.
  • … flood your mind and body with renewed energy and vigor.

Put simply, this muscle is the core of activity in your body. So, when it’s out of balance or if the psoas tightens, there are serious consequences which flow throughout the body.

And there’s one activity, in particular, that’s the sworn enemy of your psoas muscle…

Loosening Your Hip Flexors Can Actually Be Easy
With the SEQUENTIAL FLOW Method

Like unfolding a sheet or unpacking a parcel, opening up the muscles in your hips requires it to be done in the right order.

Try to release one muscle before another and you’ll add to your tightness. Getting it wrong really can make it worse.

It’s why so many people give up trying to fix the problem themselves and believe incorrectly that they have to live with the problem. But hoping the problem will go away by not exercising is just as damaging.

To explain in more detail about this flow, let me introduce you to leading Kinesiologist and Injury Specialist Rick Kaselj, MS.

Rick is “THE” guy fitness professionals go to when they want to learn about the latest techniques to help their own clients. He’s given over 352 live presentations to more than 8,152 health professionals in the US and Canada.

Rick Kaselj

I first met Rick when he helped me fix a shoulder problem. He was one of the few injury specialists I met who helped athletes by focusing on getting them back to training, rather than avoiding workouts.

Rick showed me what so many other injury specialists hadn’t – how to work through the right sequence of techniques to unlock the tension and tightness in my muscles to properly solve the problem.

Courtney and Lincoln

He’s the guy I turned to when my wife, Courtney, was struggling with pain and discomfort in her hips after the birth of our son Lincoln.

In the days and months following the birth, she experienced pain in her legs and discomfort when walking and sitting. She was struggling to sleep.

In just 15 minutes working with Rick, he’d successfully unlocked her hip flexors so she no longer felt any pain or discomfort that day. She was able to walk without experiencing the nagging pain in her pelvic area. She could sleep better and could start enjoying those precious days with a little one at home.

But Rick’s “flow” technique doesn’t only help those in pain.

At Critical Bench, our Head Strength Coach Chris Wilson felt his hip flexors were a little tight (from sitting and answering training questions on facebook too much) and tried the same routine Rick had used with my wife. Within days, Chris successfully increased his deadlift by 35 pounds to finally hit that 500 pound pull he had been training for. All because he got to experience the sequential flow of movements that Rick developed to release his hip flexors.

It’s not about the exercises.

The power of Rick’s technique lies not only in what techniques are performed and how well, but in doing these in the proper sequence.

Done effectively, the sequential flow works with your body to
activate its natural healing process, improve flexibility
while adding strength and vitality.

While many of the techniques were ones I already knew, doing the movements in the right order unravels all the tissues including muscle, fascia, connective tissue, and the joint capsule while breaking up scar tissue.

Using the right sequence kick starts an increase in blood flow to the area to clean out metabolites and lactic acid and reduces inflammation while nourishing and rejuvenating the area.

I’ve seen, with my own eyes, the power of Rick’s techniques on my wife and our Head Strength Coach Chris Wilson.

That’s why I asked Rick to share with you the very same program so you too can help to unlock your hip flexors and gain all the benefits.

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We’ve shot these 10 exercises with explanations from Rick on perfect form and exactly how to target that hard-to-reach psoas muscle. The video content is split in two:

The first is a Coaching Instructional Video where Rick takes you in detail through each exercise, so you fully understand why you’re doing that exercise, the best form to take and how it should feel. The second video is a Follow Along format designed so you can perform the flow alongside the video without breaking for explanation.

You’ll receive a highly targeted manual with greater depth about the psoas muscle and the effects of its shortening on your health and well-being. It also includes detailed descriptions of the exact exercise movements with pictures.

You will experience immediate results the very first time you go through the program.

Only through learning how to do this properly will it enable you to start undoing some of the damage done to your psoas and start helping the body to naturally heal itself.

But first a warning…this isn’t for everyone.

As you can imagine, this is a hugely technical field. The last thing we wanted was to overload you with too much, so we’ve done our best to distill the program to the most essential elements so you can experience rapid results.

I guarantee you’ll not find an easier program to pick up and start using as part of your everyday routine or workout.

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