Don't Despair the Repair
“Pain is weakness leaving the body” ― Tera Lynn Childs, Oh. My. Gods.
Image by: Scott Webb
Whether walking, swimming, cardio, strength training, or any active movement of our body, our body, and muscles “want to be fit”, says Chris from feelpeak.com and so we “are in need of repair after each workout”, says Adam White of Adam White Personal Training Studios. “The physiological effects of exercise show up in ways such as, torn muscles, build-up of lactic acid, tiredness/exhaustion, and dehydration”, says White.
Sweating during a workout is our body’s way of preventing overheating while sending blood to the muscles that are in need from exertion, is our body’s way of supporting the muscles we are using.
As soon as we stop our workout, our body tries to get back to normal right away. Yes, our body grows stronger, but the workouts are a shock to the system each time, but in time, our muscles will learn what we are asking from them.
Image by: Arthur Lambillotte
Muscles are created by tearing them down and allowing them to repair themselves. That soreness you feel after a strenuous workout, means that the muscles are in repair mode. The soreness can be reduced by participating in a cool-down routine.
“This allows the body temperature to drop slowly, move lactic acid out of the muscle tissue, and speed muscle repair and rebuilding”, says White. Adam White says in time, our muscles will get accustomed to the amount of energy released from our workout and will naturally start to repair themselves and recovery time will be less.
Image by: David Clode
Lactic acid is a colorless syrupy organic acid formed in sour milk and produced in the muscle tissues during a strenuous workout.
“Lactic acid occurs in the body when carbohydrates are broken down to use for energy during a workout,” says White. Lactic acid build-up is another reason you may feel sore after a workout. Another way to decrease soreness after a workout is to do lots of stretching, before and after, roll your legs and arms with a foam roller, drink lots of water and again stick to a warm-up and cool-down routine.
Image by: Sidney Sims
Tiredness and possibly exhaustion can and in most cases, does occur after a workout. The limitation of oxygen delivery to muscles happens during a workout. This exertion or over exertion, often causes tiredness.
Some people go so far as to say they will sleep well after a strong workout. If, however, you feel more sore than usual or wince in pain with every step or use of your body in regular life movements, take a day or two off, rest, re-set. Intense pain should not be part of the workout equation.
Image by: Sharon McCutcheon
Success in any physical workout comes from staying well hydrated. There are no brownie points given for powering through a workout without taking sips of water throughout. White says, “When you strain your body with exercise or intense movements, you lose vital fluids and become dehydrated. If you know you will be exerting your body well above normal, your fluid intake should start before exertion, making sure your muscles and fluid flow throughout your body is primed to help you get through the exertion.”
To make sure dehydration does not become part of the equation: drink water before, during, and after your workout. After your workout, your body may crave electrolytes, which can be found in products like Powerade and Gatorade. Although there is sugar in these drinks, your body will taste the sugar when it is depleted of electrolytes, in dehydration mode, and use it to help safely re-hydrate your body.
Once you understand what is happening in your body through any physical exercise, you are more able to help your body properly repair and re-set.
Ideal workout time: Mornings. Drink a cold glass of water when you first wake up and stretch
2nd best time to exercise: Afternoon. Your body is already warmed up from at least ½ a day of walking, reaching, movement in general. Use that warmth for a good stretch and raise that heart rate.
Ideally, any time of day that best suits your body and schedule is a great time to exercise. Just keep moving.