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Why do I sometimes ache after exercise?

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Do you sometimes feel sore after starting exercising? Muscle pains, aches and stiffness can appear within 24 – 48 hours of new, different or increased exercising and is often referred to as DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS is completely normal, doesn’t last long and is actually a sign of your improving fitness. When you exercise and lengthen your muscles, you slightly tear the muscle tissue and the nerve endings become inflamed. We feel soreness to prevent us from overusing the muscle and damaging it further as it recovers over the next few days. As the muscles repair themselves, they get bigger and stronger and so you do need some sort of muscle soreness to see results – “no pain, no gain”! DOMS is a natural part of exercising and improving your fitness and can affect anyone, even elite athletes! Unfortunately it cannot be prevented after working harder, for longer or in a different way to usual, however an icepack and some gentle stretching can ease tenderness.

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