New Years Goals

New Years Goals

With a new year comes the age-old tradition of New Years Resolutions. As these resolutions often revolve around exercising more, I thought I would provide some information and advice on muscle soreness; in particular a condition we refer to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS for short).

DOMS is a very normal condition to occur after exercise. DOMS is muscle soreness that typically takes around 24-48 hours to resolve. It can often feel like an aching sensation in the muscle groups that you worked out. Without going too into the minutia, DOMS occurs when you significantly ramp up your exercise. A good example would be if I were to go from not running at all, to deciding I want to run a few miles, I should expect to get some DOMS the next day. To be even more specific, I would expect to find my legs to be a lot more sensitive to movement and even find it difficult to walk and/or run for the next few days. If you are anything like me, this is incredibly frustrating, because now I am less motivated to exercise as now it is going to be even more difficult to move.

Now it may seem that DOMS is unavoidable, especially as you start off exercising, but let me provide you with some tips I have used to lessen the effects of muscle soreness and keep me motivated to work out.


Don’t be a weekend warrior, the person who hasn’t worked out in months/years and then returns to try to lift all the weights or run at the same pace as they used to before. I am not saying you won’t be successful, because hey you might be. But your body is not used to exercising in that manner, and it is going to take significant effort to adapt to perform those exercises. Start slow and light. Using running as an example, start with a slow pace to test the waters of your conditioning. Then as you get more confident, start raising the speed to a point that is comfortable for you. Don’t feel like you need to push through pain, you are just starting out again so make it comfortable and make it fun.


I saw a social media post the other day that went something along the lines of “60 minutes of exercise seems like nothing, but 5 minutes of stretching is impossible.” And I couldn’t agree more. The dilemma is that while we hate to stretch, stretching is truly beneficial for our overall health and flexibility when we start working out. Make sure you allot time at the end of your exercise to stretch and assist with your muscle health.


WITH WATER. I love coffee as much as if not more so than your average joe (pun intended). But unfortunately, coffee is not what you need when working out; water is. Hydrating before, during, and after your exercises will not only assist with any cramping sensations, it is essential for maintaining healthy muscle tissue. And heck, theres so many fashionable water bottles to use now. 

The long and short of it is, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness may be unavoidable, especially as you get back into exercising. Knowing that it is a normal part of your health journey, and using the tips above, can be the first part of the battle towards becoming an exercising aficionado.

Still have questions? Don’t worry! We have a team of therapists who you can talk to assist with any questions you may have. Give us a call at 610-241-2685.

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