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Archive for the month “February, 2013”

270213 Why am I sore after working out?

Why am I sore after working out?

The simplest answer to the question “why am I sore after working out” would be to say that you did too much. But that’s not really a good answer is it because there are a multitude of reasons why a person gets sore after working out.

The most obvious reason someone gets sore is because they aren’t used to doing what they just did and their muscles are rebelling. Another reason is they may have placed too much of an emphasis on one muscle group and overdid it in the last session. On the other hand, they could have gone too long in their workout.

Most likely, you exercised a new group of muscles in a different way by using too much weight, adding extra repetitions to your sets or doing full range of motion in each of your repetitions when you weren’t used to it.

The most common exercise that produces soreness afterwards is the squat because squatting exercises the large muscle group in the legs and people are not used to doing a full squat. Even a small number of total repetitions, such as twenty-four, in an inexperienced lifter will cause soreness the day after. This is delayed onset muscle soreness, which in itself is not a bad thing depending on the severity of the soreness.

This muscle pain could be from an accumulation of waste products in the muscle or microscopic tears in the muscle tissues themselves. The latter seems to be the prevailing thought on the cause of the soreness.

Even though it seems that a muscle tear would be a bad thing, these microscopic tears actually encourage the muscles to become stronger by repairing the tissues in a manner that makes them more resistant to the tears in the future. This process is what builds greater muscle mass and increases your strength and endurance. It’s a training guide referred to as progressive exercise, because you don’t start at the top and work your way higher, you start at the bottom and build up your ability to lift more and go farther.

However, if the pain is excruciating, you need to be seeing a doctor to find out what was injured. Excessive pain means you need a break to recover and then make plans to modify your exercise program to prevent future occurrences of this nature.

Minor pain normally goes away on its own because your muscles are getting stronger or your cardiovascular system is adapting to the stresses you are putting on it. However, a sudden, sharp, and acute pain is a danger signal that you have pushed yourself too hard, too fast. At this point, the prudent action is to stop, evaluate and start protecting yourself from further damage by following the rice protocol.

The rice protocol is an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The severity of the soreness will govern whether not you seek medical advice. Normally if it hasn’t subsided within several days see your doctor may be prudent.

An overall body warm-up that is followed by a torso specific warm-up and ending with an exercise specific warm-up will go a long ways towards avoiding an injury while exercising. These do not have to be fifteen and twenty minute warm-ups. Likewise, they should not be static or passive stretches unless you are having difficulties in specific areas and need this extra assistance to regain your full range of motion at these locations. If so, do them, but end up with an active movement in that area. Otherwise, keep your pre-session stretches dynamic.

You can start out by skipping rope or riding a bike and gradually building up your speed until your heart rate and breathing are increased and you are sweating a slight amount. Next, depending on your exercise session, do an upper, middle or lower torso warm up. Follow these with the first set of your specific exercise for the day. It may be a slow run progressing into a fast run or a light set of squats moving up in weight to the top work out sets.

After you are finished with your exercises, do static stretches for the major muscle groups. This is a perfect time because your whole body is warmed up. The muscles are flexible, pliable, and the nervous system is at peak efficiency; the perfect setting to regain any lost range of motion or to increase the range of motion.

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Vitamin D, race and osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms

Vitamin D, race and osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms

A 2012, November study reported and E-published in Arthritis and Rheumatism found that vitamin D deficiency may be a factor in race reported patterns of osteoarthritis pain. According to the research scientists at the University of Florida in Gainesville, blacks, reporting more baseline osteoarthritis pain also had “significantly lower levels of vitamin D and greater sensitivity to experimental pain-though not clinical-pain.”

The research staff believes that vitamin D deficiency could be the reason behind chronic inflammation that leads to developing of, and progression of other systemic inflammation diseases such as osteoporosis.

Granted, this was a small sampling of ninety-four individuals with an average age of 55.8. From this small sampling, seventy were women, including forty-five blacks and forty-nine whites, each one with symptomatic OA in the knee. Each participant filled in a questionnaire about their knee OA symptoms and were then tested for heat and mechanical pain sensation sensitivity.

Those with low levels of vitamin D experienced increased experimental pain sensations but a lack of clinical pain.

The hypothesis of the researchers for the perceived lack of clinical pain may have been a result of a retrospective pain assessment or possibly, it was due to multiple reasons of OA symptoms as a whole.

The bottom line may be to check your vitamin D the next time you see your doctor especially if you are experiencing knee joint pain that has started to bother you more than in the past.

250213 Several shorter workouts per day may help control prehypertension

Several shorter workouts per day may help control prehypertension

A small study reported in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that several shorter exercise periods spaced four hours apart were more beneficial than doing one long session. The participants in the study walked briskly for ten minutes, three times a day with four hours separating each session.

The next day they walked a continuous thirty minutes. This alternating pattern continued throughout the length of the study as did constant around the clock blood pressures monitoring for each person. The results clearly showed that several shorter ten-minute sessions during the day created lower blood pressure readings and fewer high blood pressure spikes throughout the day.

Earlier research has shown that short accumulative sessions of exercise help to control weight, increase bone mineral density, and assist in lowering both blood pressure and blood sugar levels, along with decreasing the cholesterol levels. However, these are not the only beneficial aspects of exercising, there are others.

Exercise releases endorphins; the chemicals that make you feel good and counteract the negative effects of adrenalines brought on by stress. Endorphins work by relaxing the muscles and help to dilate the vessels in the circulatory system.

Further advantages of exercise result in the production of lower levels of stress hormones released into the body, lower increases in heart rate and blood pressure when under stress.

These non-intrusive, short time exercise periods help you to stay more consistent with your exercise compliance over lengthy periods. This means your health should continue to improve over time.

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