Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why are my muscles SOOOO sore??

Yep it's a New Year....Break out the Sore Muscles!!!
At the beginning of each year I see clients in January that have changed their routine, started a brand new one, or perhaps are doing something different all together.  
Each time you change the type of stress or training you apply to your muscles, they have to adapt to these new changes.  Very frequently when pushing your body in a new direction you will have extreme soreness.  Things like shampooing your hair will take on a new level of effort.  (I'm sure you've all experienced it)  Walking up or heaven forbid going down stairs you find yourself hanging on to the handrail for fear that the soreness in your muscles won't allow you to continue to the next step. 

This phenomenon is know as DOMS 
     - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
24-48 hrs after a workout is when the severity of DOMS sets in.  

Some of us laugh about it, because we know it's coming.  Some of us wonder if perhaps we did something to actually injure ourselves.  The fact of the matter is your muscle tissue is going through a breakdown and building process.  The mild muscle strain that takes place when starting into a new routing creates microscopic tears in the muscle fibers.  There is an inflammatory process that develops to help those muscles heal.  The entire chain reaction process that takes place on a cellular level (I won't bore you with the details) is helping your muscles to heal and develop into faster, stronger fibers that have more endurance.  
The DOMS that you experience may be the most severe a couple of days after the workout.  It should lessen as the days go by. 
If you are experiencing DOMS, the best thing to do is keep moving.  Do moderate exercise, hop on a bike trainer, walk on the treadmill if you can't get outside.  A swim is a great way to help reduce the effects of DOMS.  
If you know you're going to start a new routine,  have a massage scheduled for that same day right after you get done with your workout.  If you do it the same day, the effects will be far less.  Also, make sure to stretch really well when you complete your workouts.  Skipping the stretching time at the end of a workout is like not eating breakfast.  It is a necessity!  DO IT!!

IMPORTANT - if you've got sore muscles, don't give up on your workout plan, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy well balanced meals, (Stay AWAY from simple carbs -sugars- They increase the inflammation in your tissues).  Eat lots of veggies and protein...stay AWAY from sugars, breads, starches.  If you're craving sugar, you might not have enough protein.  All of these things will help you be on your way to a healthier, stronger, faster you.  

Last note on DOMS, If you're really sore, you might just have to modify your workouts for a couple of days, then you'll be back into your routine stronger than ever. Whatever you do....DON'T GIVE UP!!

Are you having trouble getting into a routine?  Need some people to help hold you accountable to your workouts or just plain bored of working out alone?  
Why not join a club?  DSM TRI is only $40 for an entire year.  The product discounts make up for the cost of membership very quickly, not to mention free group training sessions hosted by Zoom Performance Training.  Join DSM TRI Club today to get linked in to activities going on around the DSM Metro!

Have questions about muscle injuries or soreness, ask!  I'd love to help!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Planning

This is the first blog post for Hands On Sports Massage.  My coach, Greg Thompson, has been asking my on a weekly basis for the last YEAR, why I don't have a blog, and why I'm not writing about my research and what I find on a daily, quarterly or annual basis with the athletes I work with each year.  So, Greg Thompson, this first post is for you!

In December of 2010, I sat down to do the first quarter planning for 2011 for the future of Hands On Sports Massage.  Below is one of the many things I've contemplated during the planning process.  I hope the information can help you have a successful 2011!

As we all step into the NEW YEAR, the planning, resolutions, packed gyms and and the number of people exercising increases immensely.  Something I hear every single year....without fail.  "Why is it that the gyms are PACKED in January and it starts to fade off end of January and into the beginning of February?"  Let's take a look for a moment at human nature shall we?  
~New Year...New You...the upcoming Spring break, the fact that perhaps folks have put on a few lbs during the holiday season.  Why is it then, that when faced with January 1st, every year, without fail, the gyms are packed to the gills?  Why then after the first couple of weeks of gym goers does the excitement fall away?  
Is it because the goal was too high?  Most likely not...sometimes we don't set the bar high enough...we sometimes don't realize what we are truly capable of. 
Is it because the individual didn't have a plan?  Perhaps, but not the most likely reason.  Typically the plan is there, but personal accountability and everyday stresses get in the way.

In the massage clinic...every first quarter....
I see pain, injuries, muscle soreness, fatigue, frustration....why is the new plan NOT working???

Perhaps the below topics can be of assistance for those of you trying to get into a new routine.....
  1. You have your goal... AWESOME!  (write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet, hang it in your bathroom on the mirror, put it on a post it note on your desk, whatever it takes)
  2. Find someone to hold YOU accountable!  (friend, coach, trainer, dog, sibling, parent...SOMEONE)
  3. Fuel your body PROPERLY!  (there are tons of articles online that talk about eating healthy, eating CLEAN....a great rule of thumb for shopping for groceries, stick to the outsides of the market, typically the inner isles are filled with boxed and packaged food that is processed.  By staying to the outsides boarders of the supermarket you will be able to hit the major food groups; fruits, veggies, meats, dairy.  Most often times during a new program, the first thing your body will start to crave when you hit the market will be carbohydrates.  HINT - most often that's your body asking for PROTEIN!... Have a plan before you even walk into the store, know that you're going to stay out of the processed (JUNK) and in the healthy, whole, clean foods sections of the store.  Try and stick with fish, chicken, turkey, fresh or frozen veggies, go light on the diary as often times it's packed with fat.  MOST IMPORTANTLY - Have a PLAN.  Hy-Vee has dietitians to help with your food choices, if you're not sure, ask!)
  4. RECOVERY- SO IMPORTANT  ~ Stretching, Sleeping, Eating, Massage, Chiropractic, Osteopathic, Acupuncture.  (I see New Year's Resolutions start to fly out the window around weeks 2,3,4 of a new program.  To combat against that, make sure you have a recovery plan.)  
Proactive vs Reactive
In 2010 part of our planning process was taking a specific group of athletes.  These athletes signed up for our VIP program.  Part of this program was creating a specific recovery plan that correlates with their racing and training schedule for the year.  Taking into account when they would be competing in major races, when the intensity of their workout would increase, when it would decrease and when they would need specific types of massage work based on their schedule.  The onset of injuries decreased drastically.  Every single athlete that started this new program completed their entire season.  Hitting their "A" race without any specific injuries.  Does this mean they didn't get a single injury?  No, what it does mean...the soreness that started to develop we were able to combat early on.  At the beginning of the season, we put together a plan for each individual.  With that plan there was room for the unknown, flexibility to change course when necessary.  With constant communication, if a problem popped up, sore hamstring, low back issues, achilles and plantar fasciitis....the athlete knew that the best course of action was to TAKE ACTION, immediately.  Perhaps it meant taking some extra time stretching, booking a 15min orthopedic massage session that NEXT day.  Setting a Proactive approach to their entire year!
I'm excited to say The New Program is working SWIMMINGLY!

In closure to this....FIRST BLOG....I would like to say this....
Listen to your body, ask lots of questions, join a training group, be cautious not to OverTrain. 
Hands On Sports Massage is here to HELP.  It's a total joy having happy, healthy, successful people around at all times!  I want YOU to be one of those people.  

Happy-Healthy training for 2011 -  
~I wish you ALL success in your New Year's Resolutions!  :-)