There is a reason this program is called P90X. The exercises are extreme, the nutrition plan is extreme, and I quickly learned that the soreness is extreme; in the beginning….
Today was by far the worst day yet for soreness. I woke up and could barely lift my torso up to get out of bed. It took me 30 seconds each time I needed to get up from my desk. Instead of skipping today’s exercise or backing down, I decided to do a little research and address the problem. Here are five tips for fighting soreness:
1. Stretch, stretch, and stretch again: Stretching before and after your exercise will ease soreness in the muscles. It releases the build of lactic acid that is created when your muscles tear apart from exercising. Make sure to warm up before doing any intense stretching. In the mean time (throughout the day) you can do small stretches. Doing modified/mini versions of yoga poses can work miracles.
2. Drink LOTS of water: Sore muscles can be related to dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water. They say to drink 8 twelve oz cups per day. You really have to listen to your body, because you may need more. I plan on drinking an extra glass of water before I go to bed each night. (I used to do this to avoid hangovers… How things have changed…)
3. Cool them down, then heat them up!: Applying ice to your muscles will reduce inflammation and help your muscles heal faster. Heat will sooth your muscles and temporarily ease the pain. This can be done with ice and a heating pad, or a cold/hot shower. Make sure to keep this method under 20 minutes.
4. Increase circulation: When your blood is flowing, your muscles get the oxygen needed to heal. If you are stuck at a desk all day (like me), try to get up every hour or two and walk around. Increased circulation also comes naturally from tip # 5.
5. Keep Bringing It!: Although it is tempting to excuse yourself from working out for one day, DON’T DO IT! Your P90X exercises will actually help you get over the pain and soreness. There are three reasons why: you release endorphins, you increase circulation, and you begin to forget about your pain because you are working a whole new group of muscles. This, by far, has been my biggest pain reliever. I am actually fearing the day of rest.
Although I am in EXTREME pain right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As exercise is continued, the body gets strong and builds a tolerance to pain. Muscle soreness only lasts 1 – 2 weeks when starting a new exercise routine.
Also, I can not emphasize the importance of sticking to the nutrition plan. It may seem like too much food the first day, but your body needs the nutrients to produce muscle. I felt stuffed the first day, now I am constantly hungry for health proteins and vegetables. The nutrition plan really does come natural. Your body will demand that you eat the right foods and amounts.
Until tomorrow, keep bringing it!