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Why do muscles hurt after exercise?

Remember the famous song of the Scorpions "No Pain No Gain" (from the English. "Without pain, do not reach the goal")? So the words of the chorus perfectly characterize the sport, training. Moreover, this is not about pain associated with injuries or improper exercise, but with regular physiological causes. You can learn more about them in this article.

Pain during training: causes, features

What causes the pain?

During exercise, the contracting muscles expend energy. Her body receives as a result of the so-called "cell respiration" - a process that occurs due to the breakdown of fatty and amino acids, glucose, as well as the creation of high-energy bonds of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Oxygen delivered to the muscle fibers in the blood forms a bond with myoglobin (a relative of hemoglobin in some way).

In a quiet state, as well as during physical exertion, which are not excessive for these specific muscles, oxygen for cell respiration is sufficient.However, if the proposed load is above the threshold that is usual for muscles, then there is a lack of oxygen.

Trying to cope with the problem, the body starts the production of energy in an anaerobic format (that is, without the participation of oxygen). As ATP is formed, the muscles intensively release a substance that we call "lactic acid".

It should be noted that lactic acid is produced by muscles and at moderate loads, as well as at rest, however, with loads in the amount of 50% and higher of the maximum (many sports workouts are designed for such intensity), lactic acid begins to be produced so intensively that the body does not manages to remove it. Accumulating in the muscle tissue, the substance causes unpleasant and even painful sensations - this is why the muscles hurt after a workout.

When should the pain go?

It is important to understand that the discomfort that lactic acid gives does not last more than 24 days. Experts say that if you feel pain for a day or more, then it is no longer a matter of lactic acid, but of the muscle tissue provoked by it.

In this case, it is necessary to abandon training for painful areas of the body for several days, thus giving the tissues time to heal and restore.It is important to observe the regularity of training, not to make too big pauses between them. After all, this will again reduce the physical endurance of the muscles, which means that the old training will again be very difficult for them, and therefore painful. You absolutely do not make any progress.

If it is not possible to conduct a scheduled workout due to pain, then light restorative exercises can be done. If the pain does not go away for a long time or increases, then you need to consult a doctor.

What to do to avoid pain?

  • Giving adequate to your physical state load. It must be systematic, and the increase in intensity must necessarily be smooth!
  • Be sure to do the preparatory workouts, stretching before workouts. They "warm" the muscles, prepare them for work.
  • Massage, a compress, a warm shower, or a bath with sea salt (water temperature should be no more than 40 degrees) will help to relieve discomfort in the muscles after sports.
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