What Makes Muscles Ache
With your body having more than 600 muscles that comprise about 40% of your body weight (closer to 30% for women), it’s no wonder you feel the effects of exertion and exercise. You can appreciate why it makes good sense to properly care for your muscles.
When muscle aches are experienced during strenuous exercise (that “burning” sensation), you’re feeling the effects of lacticacid— the substance formed as a result of the incomplete breakdown of sugar by the muscle. When a build-up occurs, it’s best to continue your efforts at a lighter level it will enable your body to use up the lactic acid faster than if you cease all activity.
Feeling sore and achy a day or two after your workout has a different cause. The soreness comes from your muscle fibers in the exercised area getting slightly strained or torn. If you get too active too quickly, this overexertion can exacerbate the situation.
Also, the capillaries to the area diminish from lack of use and need to redevelop in order to properly supply the muscles with the blood necessary to facilitate this new growth. The tricky part is that the new muscle fiber is capable of growing more rapidly than is the needed blood supply to the area.
The solution to either of these problems is to use moderation in all your physical activities and allow your body time to build strength and stamina gradually. A little soreness when you increase your muscle usage is to be expected, but anything greater indicates you’ve been overdoing it, so slow your pace.
A regular physical workout, when done properly, is a great asset to building your overall health. Your efforts do more than tone your muscles; all your systems benefit from your actions. For best results, give your
muscles time to repair and regenerate between sessions of strenuous physical activity. A day or two for the exercised area to “catch its breath” and prepare for the next round makes quite a difference.
Massage sessions can help your recovery time. For instance, through the light squeeze and release of muscles, circulation is improved. This increased blood flow brings nutrients like oxygen to your cells and carries toxins away for disposal. Muscle elasticity and function can be improved, as well.
If you want more information on exercise, warm-ups, stretching, or other related areas of health, please let us know at your next session. We’d be glad to share any information we have to help you.