You are going to laugh at me likely when I tell you that today I am so sore that getting up out of a chair is very difficult and walking is impossible without a slight limp. What terrible amount of exercise or activity was it that made this 43 year old fairly fit man so sore he can hardly walk?
I umpired a Majors Level Softball game for my 12 Year-old daughter.
In hindsight if you look at the activity I was doing to Umpire the game I was either doing a movement very similar to a squat (you’d see in a gym) or and lunge (also a common gym movement). I did it for every pitch of the 2 hours worth of Umpiring. I estimate that I probably did about 150 – 300 repetitions of the movement with my full body weight.
To make things worse Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which is what I am suffering from increases for activities and actions that involve long term muscle stress that elongates the muscle…kind of like a squat that is held or a lunge that is held for a few seconds. These are called eccentric contractions and are the most common cause of DOMS.
So, a little warning for you, when you try new activities there a few precautions you can take that will help prevent or reduce the amount of DOMS that you experience when you try new things.
- Make sure that you stretch the muscles being used before and after the exercise or activity.
- Make sure to stay hydrated before, during, and after.
- Make sure to do a warm up of the movement using about 50% of the stress that you expect to see during the exercise.
- Take recovery supplement(s) like L-Glutamine (5-10 grams) & Creatine Monohydrate (5-10 grams) immediately following the exercise and first thing in the morning the day after. I take both for a couple of days after, 2-3 times per day depending on how sore I am.
DOMS pain and soreness peaks at about 48 hours after the activity and slowly subsides over the days following.
Please don’t associate DOMS as a bad thing it is a sign that your muscles have had a small amount of damage to them and your body will grow the muscles stronger to adapt (the process known as hypertrophy).
And don’t use it as an excuse to not try new things frequently. Changing things up is a prerequisite of a healthy lifestyle and keeps life (and exercise) from becoming boring.
I hope also that my story about Umpiring will also highlight the fact that even something like Umpiring, which on the surface doesn’t look like great exercise, can have a fairly fit guy so sore he can hardly get up out of a chair. Always be trying new ways to keep your self moving.
Or another way to state it as a mantra to adopt “Always be moving!”.
Please share in the comments below your favorite activity and maybe an activity that you look forward to trying soon.
Be blessed and always keep moving…