Exercise. It gets the blood pumping and the muscles going. It energises you and it tires you out. And sometimes, after a good workout, you wake up feeling all sorts of stiffness in muscles you didnt know you had. So what causes this?
Let’s start by looking at something called: Muscle Hypertrophy:
This is when your muscles increase in size as they get stronger. Due to:
- Mechanical tension
- Metabolic stress
- Muscle damage
This muscle damage is what can cause Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). So while muscle damage is not an essential aspect of hypertrophy, it is a sign that you are on the right track to building muscle… albeit a painful sign.
DOMS is a distinct muscle pain that is caused by overloading the muscles through heavy or unaccustomed activities. It can range in severity and timing and is characterised by a feeling of being sore, achy, weak and generally quite “pap”. Often it develops overnight and one will wake up feeling this soreness. Unfortunately DOMS can often deter people from exercising as they feel they are getting hurt, however this is not the case and DOMS is a natural reaction that does subside.
Winter… the dreaded time where productivity decreases, laziness increases, and the days are generally colder and darker, making it a lot less appealing to exercise.
Staying active all year round can be an intimidating task, especially when Mother Nature is not co-operating. This is why it is important to be involved in a community based exercise program where you can have friends to hold you accountable and cheer you on through the winter. Exercising throughout the year will help you to achieve a weather-proof, healthy lifestyle. When we exercise, our muscles change slowly and get stronger over time, which is why it is vitally important to keep up your fitness throughout the year, as opposed to exercising intensely in the summer and then doing nothing in the winter.
Knowing that activity levels drop in winter and we are naturally inclined to exercise less, this is one more reason to celebrate the 1st of September and the start of Spring!
Almost everyone will suffer from some form of lower back pain (LBP) at some point in their lives… So what is it that makes us so susceptible to LBP?
The spine is the main boney structure in the back; it consists of thirty three vertebrae that work together to form the backbone of our body. These vertebrae alone cannot support the massive loads and high stress and strain that we put on our backs. The vertebrae require assistance from all our soft tissue structures, ligaments, joints, fascia and most especially our muscles.
The back is full of muscles, big ones that cover large portions of the back, and more importantly small, deep muscles surrounding the spine, that provide stability and support.