First and foremost, the last thing you want to see, as you strengthen muscles, is sore muscles. In fact, sore muscles can potentially put you on hold as you eagerly wait to recover.
Causes of Sore Muscles
Overuse – First, an overuse injury is a type of muscle injury such as tendinitis or stress fracture that’s caused by repetitive trauma. Moreover, this injury can occur when you try to strengthen muscles too quickly.
Repetitive strain injuries – Next, a strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or a tendon. By the way, tendons link muscles to bones.
Sprain – Meanwhile, a sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. By the way, ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to bones at joints.
Tension – Next, muscle tension is a condition when muscles stay semi-contracted for an extended time period. Furthermore, it is usually caused by physiological effects of stress and can lead to back pain.
Muscle cramp – Now, muscle cramp is a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle that comes on suddenly and lasts for a few seconds or several minutes. And, it often occurs in the legs.
Hypothyroidism (or underactive thyroid) – Next, hypothyroidism results in muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in the shoulders and hips. Also, hypothyroidism results in stiffness, weakness, cramps, and aching muscles.
Finally, medications, especially cholesterol medications, known as statins, can cause sore muscles.
Signs of Overuse as You Strengthen Muscles
First, sore muscles are a sign of overuse. While it is not unusual to get sore muscles after a day of vigorous strength building workout, if muscles are sore longer than a day, it’s a sign that they may be overworked. So, continuing to work the same muscles may make matters worse and lead to an injury.
Second, failing to allow your body to take a rest between workouts to strengthen muscles, will make you feel sluggish and fatigued.
Next, overtraining can cause difficulty falling asleep. Or, you may find yourself oversleeping often. Or, you may want to sleep even after sleeping a full night. Above all, difficulty falling asleep means your sympathetic nervous system is still working even when you are resting. And, this means your stress levels are high when you need them to be low so you can sleep.
Or, you may suddenly feel more anxious and agitated. In addition, you may feel more irritable, or struggle to concentrate on important tasks, work, or hobbies.
Next, if you are strength training and you feel pain in the limbs with the weights, it is important to take a break and let the body recover.
Finally, the body tends to crave sugar when your cortisol levels are high or when your glycogen levels are low. So, if you get that urge for sugar, you know your body needs rest to recover.
Consequences of Excessive Training
First, when you overwork your muscles, your body is devoted to recovering from the excess training. As a result, the body doesn’t spend resources necessary to prevent you from falling sick. So, if you see that you are feeling sick more often than usual or taking a longer time to recover from a sickness, it’s a sign that you are overworking your muscles.
Moreover, repeated stressing your muscles without rest doesn’t give your body time to repair the minor strains and injuries that accumulate while working out muscles. In addition, when there are no rest days, these small injuries grow into major problems. Also, overexertion aggravates older injuries.
Lastly, training, to strengthen muscles, should make you lose weight and increase your lean muscle mass. However, when you work out too much, the calories you burn come from glucose, glycogen, and your muscle stores. As a result, you crave for sugary and fatty foods to replenish the depleted glucose and glycogen levels. Which, in turn, increases fat storage. In addition, working out too much can lead to higher cortisol levels, which prevent you from getting good sleep. As a result, once again, you crave sugary, fatty foods, which, in turn, leads to more fat.
How to Recover
First, get more sleep.
Second, listening to relaxing tunes helps you recover from excess exercise. In fact, the slow relaxing music helps reduce you heart rate.
Third, research shows that consuming a light, protein rich snack before bed helps your body repair muscle tears during sleep.
Also, drink chocolate milk after a workout. By the way, the proteins help muscle recovery and the carbs decrease the amount of time the body needs to get ready for the next workout.
In addition, drink water. Indeed, the water helps remove metabolic waste from a heavy workout. Also, the American Council on Exercise, recommends drinking 8 ounces of water 30 minutes after exercise.
Next, sore muscles occur because muscles and fascia get knotted. Therefore, using foam rollers helps remove the knots. However, a far more effective method is to use deep tissue massagers or back massagers. Meanwhile, use a foot massager for sore feet.
Also, eat a little protein before a workout. In fact, research has shown that eating a little protein before working out can trigger your body to start repairing and building more muscles during and after strength training.
In addition, eating proteins and carbs after a workout helps the body repair itself. So, drink milk, yogurt or a peanut butter sandwich within two hours after your workout to help your muscles recover and restore glycogen levels.
Finally, leave two days between workouts of the same muscle groups. So, switch muscle groups on alternate days.