Answer: This is a great question, especially after the recent classes at One Fit Sony DADC! Let’s begin with what the aches actually mean before how to help them.

The post exercise muscle aches you experience is known as DOMS (Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness) and is often seen 24-48 hours after exercise but can be experienced up to 9 days after exercise!

It is created by microscopic tears in the small cells in the muscles. The three main causes are:

  • Increases in training – This can be changing your routine, trying a new type of class or programme or increasing intensity in the exercise activity you are currently doing.
  • Plyometric (Jumping) exercises such as jumping squats and Burpees.
  • Eccentric Muscle contractions – These are the muscle contractions that stretch the muscle under a load. One example is a deadlift exercise.

How to help them?

There are a few ways that can really help (but it is hard to avoid them all together as it’s a process of changing the muscle make-up).

  1. An Epsom Salt Bath – Epsom salts are filled with magnesium which is essential for muscle recovery and repair. Have a good soak before you go to bed on the day you exercised (and the days you are feeling those aches!).
  2. Magnesium Spray – Just as above this is great as you can take it with you (and to work if you are feeling achy at work!) you spray it directly on your muscles, rub it in and the minerals get absorbed quicker than a supplement.
  3. Go for a walk – It may sound daft when everything aches, but the more you move the easier the aches become as more blood flow is taken to the muscles that are used to help the healing process.
  4. Eat some lean protein – Protein is the nutrient we need for muscle repair, rebuilding, and recovery. After a workout, eat a protein dense meal and ensure you have 1 hand size portion of protein with each meal.
  5. Sports Massage – The science behind sports massage and DOMS is a little hazy and studies from Howatson and Van Someren (2008) and Paschalis (2007) have indicated that massage can help alleviate the symptoms and this maybe due to massage helping reduce the feeling of pain.
  6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Omega-3 fatty acid is one of the essential fatty acids rich in fish oils containing eicosanoids which are signalling molecules that have been reported to regulate inflammatory response.