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What is DOMS?

What is DOMS?

DOMS is the muscle soreness and stiffness you feel a few hours or the day after a hard work-out.

DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

This muscle soreness and ache you feel in your muscles is different from a muscle strain or torn ligament. A strain or tear is felt immediately.

DOMS, however is often not felt until the day after your run, session in the gym, extra tennis game, or challenging CrossFit workout of the day (WOD).

Your thighs or quads might ache when you walk up and down the stairs or when you’re simply walking around your office.

Whenever you work out or exercise, you introduce small micro-tears to your muscles, the process of healing these micro-tears is what builds and strengthens your muscles.

How Does Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Impact Inflammation?

The micro-tears in your muscles also cause inflammation in your muscles. This inflammation is what causes muscle soreness or DOMS.

This deep muscle ache, stiffness, soreness, and inflammation doesn’t happen after every workout, run, or tennis game. DOMS only occurs when you’ve placed your muscles under new stress.

This deep muscle soreness is a very different feeling than sore and stiff joints, it literally feels like your muscles are on fire.

DOMS is a signal that you’ve pushed your body and placed your muscles under extra load and strain. The good news is that DOMS won’t last forever and that you can take measures to lessen the impacts of DOMS.

This stress doesn’t need to be extreme and in fact, it can be what appears to be a minor change in your activity level that causes DOMS.

Maybe you went on a long weekend hiking trip for the first time and on the third day your legs were super heavy and achy – this is DOMS.

Perhaps you’re training for a marathon and a couple days after your first long run, your upper thighs are super sore that you feel like you can’t run – this is DOMS.

Or if you’ve recently joined a gym and have started lifting weights, you might have heavy sore arms two days after your first-time doing bicep curls – this is DOMS.

DOMS typically hits within the 24 – 72-hour period after an intense or new activity. This delayed reaction has to do with how the body heals the micro-tears, remember it takes time for the inflammatory healing process to start building in your body.

Keep reading to learn the facts on DOMS, including the symptoms of DOMS, and how you can recover naturally from DOMS.

Don’t worry if you’re experiencing DOMS – the deep muscle heaviness and aches will go away.

Learn about SierraSil’s research into DOMS and inflammation.

The No Pain No Gain Myth

Before we get into the facts behind DOMS, we want to bust the no pain no gain myth.

Yes, you may feel some muscle soreness when you stress your body differently.

However, experiencing pain in your muscles after working out, is not a good thing or a sign that you’re building real fitness.

It’s important to understand that you don’t need to suffer to benefit from your exercise routine. Yes, you may have sore legs after a sprint workout or a heavy squat session in the gym. But this should be an anomaly and not a normality.

Remember that the pain in your muscles can be a sign of real muscular and tissue damage. Instead of the no pain no gain mentality, we want you to have a regular exercise for long health mentality.

What Are the Symptoms of DOMS?

Symptoms of DOMS

The symptoms of DOMS can include:

  • Swollen muscles that are sensitive to touch.
  • Stiff muscles that makes it challenging to walk or carry household items.
  • A feeling of weakness in the impacted muscles. It might feel like your thighs can’t support your weight when you walk down the stairs.
  • Stretching exacerbates the sensations in your muscles.

It’s important to be aware of how your body feels a few days after the onset of DOMS.

If you’re experiencing a sharp pain in a muscle or a persistent ache that is very sore, do not ignore these signals. This can be an indication that you may have done some damage to your muscles and tissues, such as a strain, sprain, tear, or some type of tendinitis.

It’s a good idea to see a physiotherapist or other health care practitioner if you’re experiencing these kinds of sensations.

How to Recover From DOMS

To recover from DOMS, do the following:

  • Before your workout make sure you warm-up your body. Do some light stretching, a brisk walk, a short ride on an exercise bike, etc. You want to wake up your muscles and body systems to prepare them for what is ahead.
  • Pay attention to your diet. Eat a pre-workout snack so your body has some fuel to power your walk, run, bodybuilding session, hike, etc.
  • Make sure you’re well hydrated. Your muscles require water to support you through your workouts. Drink before, during, and after your workout. If you’re exercising in the hot weather, consider using a natural electrolyte supplement to help replace the sodium, vitamins, and minerals you lose in your sweat.
  • After your workout, it’s important that you help your muscles recover. Try to eat a high-carb snack 30-45 minutes after your workout. For example, if you’ve just completed your Sunday long run, you should have a snack such as a couple slices of bread with natural peanut butter or drink a specialized recovery smoothie.
  • Remember to stretch afterwards. Don’t end your run at your front door and immediately get on with your day. Take a few minutes to stretch out your upper thighs, your calf muscles, your hamstrings, and lower back. This is a good time to finish the water in your water bottle and to drink a recovery smoothie.
  • As well as stretching, it can be helpful to use a tennis ball to relieve muscle soreness. Thanks to the power of myofascial release, a tennis ball is the ideal size and shape to help give your muscles a gentle and targeted massage.
  • Keep working out. You need to get your muscles moving, this stimulates the blood flow and helps reduce the symptoms of DOMS. Sitting and doing nothing can make you feel tight and then make it harder to get back to your regular work-out.
  • Incorporate natural supplements into your daily diet. Recent research has highlighted the benefits of taking curcumin on a daily basis to help mitigate the impacts of DOMS. Because curcumin has anti-inflammatory effects, this natural ingredient can help you recover from DOMS.

These steps can help you limit the sensations of DOMS and reduce inflammation in your body so you can get back to your favorite activity.

We want to remind you that SierraSil’s Joint Formula 14 and Joint Formula Curcumin have been clinically proven to aid in the prevention of and recovery from DOMS.

DOMS Doesn’t Need to Slow You Down

Don’t let DOMS slow you down or interrupt your healthy living routine.

Remember our tips on how to prevent and recover from DOMS.

Follow the basics of a good warm-up, a healthy balanced diet, proper hydration, stretching after you exercise, using a tennis ball for myofascial release, and providing muscle support with a natural anti-inflammatory supplement such as curcumin and SierraSil.

Your body will thank you, your muscles will strengthen, you’ll reduce inflammation, and you’ll be able to continue doing the exercises and activities you enjoy.

How Exercise Benefits Whole Body Health

How Exercise Benefits Whole Body Health

You know that exercise is key to helping you build a strong, flexible and mobile body. Along with eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding smoking – a daily exercise habit is one of the best things you can do for your health. However, many of us simply associate exercise and its benefits with our physical bodies. We read articles about how lifting weights can make us stronger, how yoga keeps us flexible, and how running or cycling will help support our heart health. Often overlooked in these articles is how exercise benefits your whole-body health. Not only does exercise build your physical muscles, it also has tremendous benefits for your whole body health. From your brain health, digestive health, mental health, immune system health, and overall ability to withstand health hazards such as illness, chronic stress, or physical stressors such as falls, accidents, and day-to-day living – exercise is your go-to support system. The thing about exercise is that it has a negative reputation. Too many of us associate exercise with grueling high school gym classes or as something we have to do rather than something we want to do. As part of the SierraSil vision to see one million or more people live healthier and more active lives, we want to help you understand how exercise benefits you – inside and out.

How Exercise Benefits Your Entire Body

Beyond supporting your joints and giving you the muscular support to easily bend your knees, carry groceries, and play a game of tennis, exercise has so many trickle-down impacts that once you realize how great exercise is for your entire body, you’ll be hooked on making it a daily practice.
  • Brain boosting chemicals: your brain on exercise is pretty incredible. From releasing feel-good endorphins to boost your mood to helping alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression, exercise also helps stimulate the production of brain-deprived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a powerful brain chemical that stimulates the growth of brain cells. Exercise is primarily effective in supporting and encouraging the growth of brain cells in your hippocampus – the part of your brain responsible for memory.
  • Stress reduction: getting out for a brisk walk, run, weight-lifting session, or game of basketball is a great way to manage your stress levels. Exercise gives you a much-needed break from the stressors of work and home life. Just knowing that at the end of a busy work day, you have a yoga class or hockey game to look forward to, can make it easier to get through your day. Scientifically speaking, exercise increases the level of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps moderate your brain response to stress, helping you better deal with mental stressors.
  • Memory support: it’s a proven fact, as you age, your memory does decline. That feeling of walking into a room and forgetting why you’re in the room or forgetting long-remembered phone numbers or the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The aging process and diseases like Alzheimer’s actually kill of brain cells, causing your brain to shrink and lose important brain functions. Exercise cannot cure dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but it can help slow the brain degeneration that happens after the age of 45.
  • Sleep and relaxation support: sleep is so critical to your ability to recharge, recover and be ready for the next day. Serving triple duty, exercise helps you relieve stress, helps you fight depression and anxiety and in turn makes it easier for you to let go and relax. At its most basic, exercise helps you tire out your body, making it easier for you to sleep and even take afternoon naps.
  • Self-confidence booster: think of how great you feel after you’ve gone for a run or met up with friends for hike in the woods. There is a feeling of accomplishment for setting a goal and achieving it and this activity gives you confidence in your body. You know that your body can support you in your activity and exercise goals and routines. There are of course the feelings that come when you like what you see in the mirror – let’s not forget that exercise does help you build muscles and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Inspiration for others: have you ever watched the end of an Ironman triathlon or your local marathon? You see regular people, just like you, achieving overwhelming athletic and mental success. There is something special that happens when you see or read about a person who has overcome challenges and stayed focus on their exercise or sport-related goal. Now think of how you can do this for others – it might not seem like a big deal, but your daily walk can inspire your friends and family to be more active and healthy.
  • Problem solving and deep thinking: a walk, run, swim, cycle or weight work-out can do wonders for clearing your mind and help you get into a deep thinking and problem-solving mode. Many people use their daily exercise routine to help them work through challenges and even to tap into their creativity.
  • Immune system health: your immune system is key to protecting you from toxins, viruses, bacteria and illness. When you exercise you strengthen your heart, help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, change the antibodies and white blood cells to help your immune system better detect disease, and slow the release of stress hormones.
  • Joint health support: your joints are supported by muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other fibers. The stronger these supporting fibers, the more support you’re able to give to your knees, elbows, wrists, hips, ankles, back, and other joints. This makes it easier for you to move your body, develop joint health, and manage the impacts of conditions such as arthritis.
  • Social community: it’s very easy to become disconnected from friends and your social community. You go to work, come home, watch some television and repeat this daily. By joining a sports team or participating in a regular exercise group, you’re extending and broadening your social community, making it easier to make friends and feel connected to your community. This social community is super important to you overall mental and emotional health – we all need friends to talk to, hang out with, walk with, and rely on when we’re struggling.
Visit the SierraSil Facebook community and tell us how you’re going to move and exercise every day. Remember, this exercise doesn’t need to be exhausting – it should be something you can do daily and look forward to doing. Think of ways you can easily incorporate daily exercise into your routine: a walk at the end of the work day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, getting involved with coaching your children’s sports team, joining a tennis club, taking out a membership at your local yoga studio, or getting out for a bike ride. There are so many ways you can make exercise a part of your daily life – the rewards are endless. We guarantee you’ll feel good about this new habit.

A Different Spin on New Year’s Resolutions

A Different Spin on New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the start of another new year. A time to set big goals and to maybe makes some changes in your lifestyle. Many of us set New Year’s resolutions that come with big sacrifices or demand massive changes to our current lifestyle – making these resolutions not only difficult but practically impossible. However, challenging these resolutions are, the one thing they do in the short-term is give us hope and anticipation in a time when we’re experiencing the holiday let-down. The holiday let-down or post-holidays blues is a real part of life for many of us, so these resolutions we set, regardless of the unlikelihood of achieving them, do give us something to strive towards. Now you can Google “the benefits of New Year’s resolutions” and come up with pages and pages of search results in favor of and against resolutions. And yes, we see both sides to the arguments for and against setting New Year’s resolutions – so we want to think about this in a different way. Instead of setting big goals that are tied to a specific outcome, it’s time to think of how you want to feel and what you want to experience during this new year. When we switch our focus from actual results to the act of doing or performance, it becomes much easier and possible to be successful. In this blog post, we take a different look at New Year’s resolutions, one that we hope can help set you up for good mental and physical health through-out the year.


Put an End to Wholesale Change

We’ve all done it at the start of the new year- we’ve taken a look in the mirror and decided we need to change everything. This means we throw all our efforts into make every day different and supposedly better than last year. Eating better, cutting out junk food, exercising every day, going to bed earlier, being more productive at work, calling our friends, writing letters, volunteering more, and just generally doing everything perfectly. This type of resolution hasn’t worked out so great. In fact, it sets you up for complete and total failure. The major problem with resolution setting is that we simply ask and expect too much of ourselves. For some reason, we have attached January 1st as the day when we’ll have the willpower, motivation, and gumption to do everything better. So, the first thing you need to do for 2019 is to drop this idea that you can give yourself a complete makeover. This is too much to ask of yourself.


How to Set New Year’s Resolutions

When you set or think about your new year’s resolutions the best thing you can do is drop the word “should”. For example, I should lose 10 lbs. by February 15th, I should run for one hour seven days a week, or I should cook every meal at home and stop eating out. The problem with these statements is that they put a lot of pressure on you to do more, be better, and to accomplish very challenging goals – with zero room for flexibility. The first few days might go great but then real life gets in the way and it becomes too hard to stick to the new rigid expectations you’ve placed on yourself. The end result being that you give up on your resolutions – and feel like a failure. Do the following to set New Year’s resolutions that you can feel good about:
  • Make a list of all the things that made you happy last year. From this list, what do you want to do more of this year? Maybe you really enjoyed meeting up with your Tuesday night run club, so find out if the group meets on Saturdays and add in a second group run each week. Or maybe you really enjoyed hosting your book club get together, so look for other ways you can have friends over for casual get togethers. These kinds of resolutions are achievable because they’re activities that give you pleasure and don’t have sacrifice tied to them.
  • Think of five things you’d like to accomplish this year. These can be anything such as: learning a new language, losing weight, being more active while living with arthritis, or travelling more. You can see that these are very broad accomplishments – to make them doable, break them down into small tangible steps that you can actually accomplish.
  • Dream big and write down your huge pie-in-the-sky goals. Now, choose one and start chipping away at how you can accomplish this goal. Maybe your big goal is to hike the Appalachian Trail – so start small with joining a local hiking group, then going for overnight hikes, weekend-long hikes, and slowly building from there until you’ve given yourself the experiences, knowledge, and tools that you need to accomplish your ultimate goal.
It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as an overnight success. The athletes you see setting world records or the entrepreneurs who sell their companies for millions didn’t find success in a mere 31 days. It took years of focus, failure, dedication, reframing, and flexibility to get where they are today. You are no different. Your New Year’s resolutions can work if you set them up to be connected to making you feel good about yourself. So, what do you really want to do this year? What will make you feel good and give you a deep feeling of satisfaction? Remember, one of the best ways to realize success is to have community support – so don’t be shy, share your goals and dreams for the year with us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram communities. Chances are high you’ll connect with another SierraSil community member who has similar goals and you can support one another through-out the year.