Rest for the Weary: How to Take Care of Sore Muscles

June 17, 2014

Throughout our lives there is one thing above all other 'health fads' that is key to maintaining good health. Staying active. This becomes vastly more important as we approach, and pass the 50-year mark. Studies have shown that people who exercise 30 minutes a day greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. They also decrease the chance of falling, and have a greater level of cognitive functionality. While we can all certainly see the benefits in having an active lifestyle, it is important to remember that like everything else in life, it is a good idea to find a balance in your exercise. Keep in mind that the goal of your daily routine is to build and maintain muscle mass without doing extensive damage to, or causing major discomfort in your muscles.

How Muscles Grow

Muscles are long, fibrous cells that connect our skeletal structure so our bones can move. These special cells have the ability to contract. When you force the muscles to contract with resistance, like holding a weight or moving through water, the muscle fibers tear a little bit. This is called micro-damage, and it is the basis of muscle growth. As your body repairs the microscopic injury, your muscle mass increases, making you stronger. The inflammation from this damage is what causes muscle soreness the next day.

Our Muscles As We Age

As we get older our muscle mass and overall strength decrease, which is a normal part of the changes associated with aging. The only effective way to combat this is to remain active and continue to exercise. Studies have shown that rigorous, regular activity will maintain muscle mass well into your later years. It is important that you consult with your doctor to determine what level of exercise is right for you.

Finally, keep in mind that some routine soreness is to be expected. A combination of ice, heat and massage will help reduce your post-workout soreness. Ice the sore area for 20 minutes, and then hop into a hot tub to relax the muscles. To find a massage therapist near you, visit the American Massage Therapy Association. If the pain persists, Bengay may help, as can an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen.

Click Here for a link to American Massage Therapy Association.

As always in the Hillandale Family of Communities, "We Care Like Family, Because We Are." We offer state-of-the-art care with the concern and compassion of family. Contact us at (513) 777-1400 to schedule a free tour today!



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