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Muscle Soreness: What’s Good, What’s Not

September 2015 


You Asked: 

Many of you have complimented us on the shrubs and flowers at the (now familiar) south 

entrance to our building. We have many people interested in the names of the plants. 

Our wonderful landscape designer, Theresa Rounds, has supplied a list. If you are interested, click on this link to get the names. We appreciate your compliments and are happy you are enjoying a new view of ALTA. 

You Wondered

Muscle Soreness: What’s Good, What’s Not? 

I’ve seen dozens of runners from 

the cross-country team at Boulder 

High grimace, shiver and squeal 

as they sit in an ice bath, hoping 

to stop muscle soreness after a 

particularly grueling workout. 

All that pain for nothing. Too bad 

they don’t know it won’t help. 

There are some things you can do 

for delayed onset muscle 

soreness (DOMS), but a 15- 

minute ice bath isn’t one of them. 

Keep reading. 

First, if your muscles are sore after a workout, should you worry? 

Timing is important. Muscle soreness is only worrisome if it happens during or shortly after the workout. Early soreness means you have an injured joint or a muscle strain that should be evaluated. But, if you experience muscle soreness 1 or 2 days afterwards, that’s part of getting stronger. You may start to feel sore at 12 hours and by the second day, those muscles may be even sorer. The muscle is weakest one day after the workout, but then after 4 days, you are stronger than before. 

What is a muscle strain versus just a sore muscle from a workout? 

A muscle strain means you’ve torn the muscle all the way across the fiber. Not good. When you do a lot of new exercise, especially eccentric exercise, instead of a big tear, you have what looks like Swiss cheese – lots of small tears as you break down the muscle. Those micro-tears cause local inflammation. When the soreness disappears,

I know it adds a bit of exercise, a few extra steps on your fit bit, but enough already! You 

wonder, are you ever going to be able to enter the building directly from the upper parking lot? We have wondered too. And asked. And pleaded. 

The construction company is doing it’s best to get back ordered parts and we are supposed to have the railings installed this week. We are very sorry for the delay and hope to have the brand new entrance fully functional soon. Thank you, again, for your patience. 

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what broke down builds up and you end up with a stronger muscle. 

In DOMS, soreness is a sign you’ve done something different. The exercise is either more intense, a different type, such as eccentric, or you’ve used a muscle you aren’t accustomed to working. So, if you run faster, for example, you are using more fast-twitch fibers, perhaps your stride is longer so the muscle is working in a different range of motion – something has changed. That creates soreness and eventually strength.


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