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How to Prevent Sore Muscles after Workout

Question: My muscles become stiff and sore 1 to 2 days after exercising. What can I do to prevent this? I am over 60. However, I believe this is more than old age . . . right? John

Answer: Hi John, You are experiencing delayed muscle soreness which occurs between 24 to 48 hours after an exercise session. The pain should decrease after 72 hours. There have been many studies about this condition and the most current research attributes it to microscopic tears in the muscle and surrounding tissues. Age is apparently not a factor. Even conditioned people get this kind of soreness after they increase intensity, frequency or duration of workouts, or if you're just getting back into working out after a long time of rest. Once you experience soreness at a certain intensity, you shouldn't experience it again at that same intensity. The soreness produces what's called a "rapid adaptation response," which means your muscles adapt quickly to an exercise intensity. The best ways to decrease this type of muscle soreness are through ice application, massage, and stretching immediately after exercise. The best way to prevent this soreness is through a gradual progression of weight increase.

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