Keeping to an Exercise Plan Even With Muscle Pain
Sticking to a new exercise plan takes determination. If you are having trouble with muscle pain, especially when it is the product of exhaustion from earlier workouts, you might be even more worried about how to keep on track. Paying careful attention to your body will help you continue your routine while still protecting yourself.
Soreness vs. injury
One of the most important steps is distinguishing ordinary soreness after new or increased activity from outright injury. Soreness develops from microscopic tears in the muscle that will form new muscle tissue. It generally starts 12 to 48 hours after your workout and lasts a day or two before fading.
Pain from injury, on the other hand, hits more quickly and may not subside as easily. It may include bruising, swelling, or other symptoms. You will likely want to consult a doctor if you have any reason to think you have a more serious injury. Strains should be treated with immediate rest and by applying ice. Leg and foot strains can be helped by elevating the injured leg and by wrapping with a compression bandage.
Treating sore muscles
If you are sore from an initial workout, a couple of days of rest will help, but moderate exercise while you are still sore won’t make you more vulnerable to injury and won’t slow your recovery. In fact, moderate activity will help keep your muscles loose. Either a hot soak or ice packs will help relieve your soreness if necessary, and massaging can loosen you up as well.
Although you won’t hurt yourself further by keeping up with exercise when you are sore, it is important not to push yourself past your endurance. Work your way up to longer or more intense workouts gradually. It can be a good idea to talk to a medical or athletic professional about how best to do this. Having a thoughtful exercise plan in place before you start will also help.
Stretching and preparation
Short of outright massaging, gentle stretching before and after working out will help keep your muscles from getting too stiff and sore. It will also make further working out easier if you already have some pain.
Reducing muscle pain and soreness as quickly as possible, and taking steps to lessen muscle pain before it occurs, will help you to maintain your exercise habits. This can lead to greater success with your goals down the line. Make sure you know what to do to reduce muscle pain so that you can keep up with your exercise plan.