The saying ‘no pain, no gain’ is coined as motivation to spur you on when exercise is pushing your body to a state of discomfort. However, it can easily become a misconception that all pain is ‘good’ pain.  The truth is that not all pain are made equal – there are the good, and there are the bad.

If you plan to exercise regularly (everyone should!), then you need to be able to distinguish the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ pains your body may experience after exercise.

The ‘good’ pain

It is completely normal to have sore muscles after exercise, especially when you first start taking part in any fitness classes or training.  Muscles soreness is the ‘good’ pain.  Its sensation is a dull ache in the muscles that you worked on.

DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and this usually comes on within the 24-48 hours after exercise.  Once you start training regularly and your muscles adapt to the exercises you are doing you will find that you will not experience this soreness anymore.  It can re-occur when you alter the training program to include new exercises that use different muscle groups.  Many physically active people experience DOMS when they first start doing Pilates.  A number of Pilates exercises work on smaller muscle groups that are typically difficult to activate in other exercise programs.

Don’t be alarmed if you feel this soreness after exercise because it is a good thing, and there are ways to help reduce it, including the following:

  • Static stretching at the end of your workouts; your instructors at Leap Health and Wellbeing will include these into the classes
  • Using foam rollers and trigger point balls to help massage the sore muscles to relieve soreness. We provide these for your use at Leap Health and Wellbeing, and our instructors can show you how to use them
  • Doing light, or low intensity exercise between workouts e.g. walking. Foundation Yoga, Gentle Flow, and Yin Yoga classes at Leap Health and Wellbeing are fantastic low intensity exercises that help to relieve muscle tension, and soreness in between more vigorous sessions such as Barre and Functional Training
  • It has been scientifically proven that flavonoids in food like cherries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are great to eat straight after exercise to reduce the onset of DOMS. Athletes worldwide are also drinking watermelon juice, as this has also been scientifically proven to reduce DOMS because it is enriched with the amino acid L-citrulline, which assists  in muscle repair after strenuous exercise

The ‘bad’ pain

If you feel a pain that seems to be musculo-skeletal in nature, that is more prolonged and restricting movement, this could be an injury.  If you ever feel acute pain as opposed to muscle soreness, please notify your instructor or contact a health professional.  Be sure to always feel free to raise any concerns you have with our helpful team at Leap Health and Wellbeing.

The team at Leap is pedantic about body alignment, and engagement of the right muscles when exercising, so you develop the correct movement pattern and body awareness, that will prepare you for any activities that you take on.  Our team of professional instructors will push and encourage you in each class, so you get the fitness results that you are after, but without the ‘bad’ pain or even too much of the ‘good’ pain, so you stay on track of your fitness and wellbeing plan.

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