Taking part in any unusual exercise can leave your muscles feeling tender and sore, but can you reduce or even prevent the pain? Experts explain what works and what doesn’t If you have upped your training routine, returned to exercise after some time off or given a new activity a go, the chances are you have felt the characteristic ache of delayed onset muscle soreness (Doms). Usually kicking in around 24 to 48 hours after exercise, muscles feel tender and sore as a result of microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, which occurs when you force your muscles to work harder than they are used to, or use muscle groups that you don’t often reach in your regular workout. It can leave you feeling achy and stiff, with a walk around the office taking on a John Wayne feel. Any exercise to which you’re unaccustomed can result in a bout of Doms, says Dr Mark Wotherspoon, a consultant in sport, exercise and musculoskeletal medicine. Simply put, he says, it suggests you are “doing too much too soon”.
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