Why Do You Feel Sore After a Physical Activity

Have you ever felt some pain or soreness in your muscles after performing an intense exercise or physical activity? You might have experienced this at some point of your life. Remember your first day in the gymnastics class where you tried to execute a lot of new moves you’ve never performed before? You were quite confident and energetic that day, but the next day your body feels quite sore. The pain feels even worse on the second day, and you might be wondering if the pain you’re feeling is an indication of an injury. But the truth is, the pain you’re feeling is also felt by lots of physically active individuals.

Muscle soreness usually occurs a day or two after performing a rigorous physical activity. While this may seem disturbing for new athletes, but you should be aware that this kind of pain or soreness is pretty normal, and is not something that you should worry about.

Sore muscles

You should not be bothered too much by this pain as it normally doesn’t last long, and usually goes away after the second day of soreness. You should treat it instead as a sign of improvement in the level of your physical fitness.

Why Does This Pain Occur After Exercising?

The muscle pain that occurs after a physical activity, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS, usually occurs right after performing a new physical activity, change your exercise program, or increase the duration and intensity of your physical activities.

Whenever the muscles are pushed to work harder than what they are accustomed to, or in a different manner, it is believed to leave microscopic tears to the muscle fibers, which causes you to feel pain and soreness in your muscles.

Who Are Affected by DOMS?

Anyone can experience DOMS, even the most experienced athletes who have been training for years. This kind of pain may prevent and discourage athletes from pursuing their fitness goals, but you should be aware that the pain usually decreases as your muscles gets more accustomed to the physical burden being placed upon them.

How to Treat DOMS

While there is no direct way to instantly treat DOMS, you could do a lot of different things to reduce the pain and shorten its duration. Giving your body some time to rest and recover is probably the best thing that you could do. Some helpful things that can minimize the pain is applying ice packs, showering with warm water, taking anti-inflammatory supplements such as fish oil, and massaging the affected area.

Eating foods rich in protein is also believed to be beneficial for muscle soreness, as protein is known to be helpful in repairing the muscle tissues, which actually shortens the duration of the soreness, reduces the pain, and helps build stronger and healthier muscles.

You should also drink enough fluids to keep your muscles healthy and hydrated. Not drinking enough water can make the soreness worse, and might even cause muscle cramps.

Should I Stop Exercising When I Have DOMS?

When all of your muscles are stiff and sore, you might actually believe that it’s best to just stay away from physical activities and lay down your bed all day to let your body recover from the intense workout you’ve just done. However, according to most studies and fitness enthusiasts, it’s actually beneficial for you to stay active despite the pain and soreness.


Exercising while your muscles are sore, or also known as active recovery, is very beneficial for treating DOMS as it encourages a healthy blood circulation to your muscles, which can be helpful in alleviating pain and reducing the duration of the DOMS.

So in short, DOMS is definitely not an excuse to skip workouts. The benefits it can do to your muscle soreness should actually be a motivation for you to get more physically active.

If the soreness of your muscles hinders you from properly performing your workouts, you could do a less intense workouts such as walking, light running or lifting lighter weights to give your body a chance to recover.

Educate yourself about health and fitness by reading our easy-to-understand educational articles. Experience a fun and exciting gymnastics training, and learn gymnastics for kids from one of the best rhythmic gymnasts, Bianka Panova by enrolling at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy today :)

Guest Comments

Let us know what you think!