Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Showering after a workout

I've been working out off and on for 10 years now. Along the way I've learned a little tricks and things for a better workout. One of the best hints to a more pleasant work out has to do with showering afterward.

The reason your body gets DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) when you ache in the days afterward, is because of lactic acid. When you lift, you are tearing muscle fibers, that's a good thing, because what your body does is rush to repair it and makes it bigger and stronger. Well, when these muscle fibers rip, they release lactic acid into the muscle. This is what gives makes you miserable for the days afterward.

Well in Massage school I learned a trick. In your shower afterward, turn on 3 minutes of hot, and 30 seconds of as cold as you can. alternate a few times, I usually do 3, and end on cold. The heat expands your blood vessles and the cold makes them contract so your blood system acts like a pump. This way you are helping your body flush out the stuff you don't want in there.

Never, never NEVER, get in the Jaccuzi after your workout. What you are doing is encouraging your body to flood those areas that are now healing with blood, and it just pools there. Yeah it feels great right after a workout, but this will intensify your DOMS. Now if you are a massocist, which in this instance I am not, you could sit in the jaccuzi for 3 minutes and then jump in the pool for 30 seconds and repeat a few times. but really, who does that?

You will hate the hot cold thing at first, and you never really get used to that shock of going from one to the other, however you will come to love it and look forward to it after your workout, knowing that in the days to come, your muscles will be tight, but the good kind of tight, but will not ache. You will be apt to staying with your programs and not quitting because you hurt so much.

Hope that helps CM

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