by Marguerite Ferrara, Byrnes HEC Assistant Director of Education Services/Corporate Wellness
It’s normal to have sore muscles after a workout or after participating in an activity you haven’t done in a while …like shoveling 25 inches of snow! Remember, sudden, intense pain could be an indication of a serious injury and you should call your doctor if it lasts for more than a couple of days. Regular muscle soreness is caused by tiny injuries in muscle fibers. You might not even feel it the next day but right about now your body is screaming UNCLE! That phenomenon actually has a name. It’s called “delayed on-set muscle soreness.”
You might be surprised you feel this sore. Afterall, you stretched your arms and legs before starting. Research shows that stretching ahead of time doesn’t do much to prevent pain or injury. It’s better to warm-up the body really well first, and then stretch, when your muscles are already warm.
Do a little research before choosing icing or heat. Icing vs. heat therapy has been debated recently, challenging the old theory that ice is best for sore muscles. Some new studies have suggested that ice might impede the bodies natural response to inflammation, slowing the healing process.
Some things that I find helpful after a tough workout include drinking lots and lots of water and feeding those hungry muscles with lean, natural proteins like fish, poultry, lean meats and nuts. Get off the sofa and stop wishing the dog would walk himself. A slow walk around the neighborhood will get the blood flowing into those sore muscles. Move slowly and gently stretch to help stay flexible. My own personal favorite is a hot bath with good old fashioned Epsom Salts. There may not be any scientific studies to prove how effective it is, but I don’t know anyone that doesn’t feel better after a long, hot soak.
Think on the bright side, you got in a good amount of exercise and if it continues to snow, your golf game will be powerful come spring.