Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Sore Subject
By now you've probably noticed that after working out a particular body part, it's often sore for the next day or two — especially if you're not in the habit of exercising. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, and it's caused by tiny tears in the muscle fiber. Over time, the tears heal and cause the muscle to grow. Don't worry: The discomfort you're feeling is typical after an intense resistance workout, so don't let it keep you from sticking to your workout plan.

Challenge yourself to keep going, even if the going gets tough. You can fend off the soreness somewhat by stretching the body parts you're working out during the rest periods between supersets. If you're already sore, ibuprofen or aspirin will ease the discomfort a bit; and some studies suggest that extra doses of vitamin C can help get rid of the ache. Engaging in some light aerobic exercise, because it increases blood flow, will also help reduce soreness. Remember: Pain is not part of a successful workout, and if a muscle is still painful after four or five days, check with your doctor to make sure you haven't sustained an injury.

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