To exercise or not to exercise?

by Khushboo on March 14, 2011

What’s the worst thing you can do after a heavy workout session?  Eat a massive slice of cake because ‘you earned it’?  Yeah that’s right up there along with ‘staying inactive’.  Exercise-induced pain is what I like to call ‘sweet pain’ or a ‘double-edged sword’.  Part of you wants to cry with every step you take because you’re in agony.  On the other hand, the pain is an indication that the workout was effective and that you’ve worked out ‘new’ muscles groups.

What I just described above is exactly what I am currently feeling like after a yoga class on Saturday.  Much to my suprise, I woke up on Sunday morning (and today) feeling stiff as a brick.  It turns out I’m not the flexible pretzel I hoped (although on that note, I was rocking a majority of poses including the half shoulder-stand :cool:).  Despite feeling like someone has beaten the crap out of me, I know from experience that staying off exercise completely will only make it worse! 

During conditions like this, active recovery is your best bet.  This is basically a hybrid between exercise and resting.  It involves purposely exercising at a low-intensity as a means tof helping your body recover from muscle soreness.  It’s hard to get started with but once you get warm and start moving, your body will loosen up and feel a lot better.  If this is not the case, you’re probably working out too hard so go easy on yourself.  The idea behind active recovery is that light exercise increases blood flow which helps remove lactic acids and provide muscles with nutrients and oxygen to rebuild itself.  After a light run yesterday and a cross trainer sesh this morning, my soreness has gone down from a 9 to a 4.  One more light workout should hopefully nip it in the bud :).

***Note: if you are experiencing injury as opposed to muscle soreness, engage in the R.I.C.E method.  No, not the carby goodness kind but instead:

Rest

Ice

Compress

Elevation

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pooja March 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I worked out yesterday for the first time in about 1.5mths, and def felt it today! But I remembered this post and got right back on the saddle and went spinning today! My legs didn’t affect me once through the class, and I feel so good for pushing myself!

Thanks for your great posts always!

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Khushboo Thadani March 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Awesome for pulling through! I love the phrase ‘pain is temporary, pride is forever’.

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