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No pain, no gain? 5 myths about post-workout muscle sorenes

You just crushed a really hard workout. You upped the load of your training, or you stepped out of your routine and tried a new activity. You feel great -- until you wake up the next morning, barely able to move.
Enter delayed onset muscle soreness, better known as DOMS. It's an acronym that athletes and fitness buffs wear with pride.
As its name suggests, "DOMS is muscle soreness that becomes evident six-to-eight hours following activity, peaking around 24 to 48 hours post-training," says Jon Mike, an exercise scientist at the University of New Mexico. While the symptoms will often start to diminish at about 72 hours, "the precise time course and extent of DOMS is highly variable," Mike says.
DOMS is most pronounced when you introduce a new training stimulus -- a new activity, increased intensity or volume -- or if you are new to physical activity in general.

"Your body is making adaptations to better prepare your muscles to do that activity again," says Lauren Haythe, certified Kinesis Myofascial Integration Practitioner and yoga teacher. That's why on Day 1 at the gym, after doing squats or lunges with 10-15 pound weights, you can be brutally sore the next day.
"But, as you continue on, you can build up from there, and you won't be so sore," she says.
While all kinds of muscular contraction can cause soreness, eccentric contraction -- where the muscle lengthens as it contracts -- is most often associated with DOMS, according to Mike. This includes movements such as running downhill, lowering weights or lowering down into a squat or push-up position.
"There is also some evidence that upper body movement creates more soreness than lower body exercises," says Mike.
Muscle discomfort is the most common characteristic of DOMS, but there are other symptoms. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, these may include reduced range of motion and joint stiffness, local swelling and tenderness, and diminished muscle strength. These symptoms appear gradually following exercise (not to be confused with acute pain that may arise during physical activity).
No pain, no gain. Lactic acid build-up. An indicator of muscle growth. These are all phrases that we tend to associate with DOMS. While you may think you know everything you need to know about the condition that has you waddling like a duck, you may be surprised by what's actually happening in your body.

Myth #1: DOMS is caused by the build-up of lactic acid.
The verdict: Not true.
During exercise, your body needs energy, and it breaks down molecules to get that. As a result of this metabolic process, your cells naturally become more acidic which makes your muscles feel like they're burning. But this isn't caused by lactate. Lactate is actually a by-product of the metabolic process and serves as a buffer and slows down the rate at which the cells become acidic.
"People produce lactate all the time, even at rest. It clears your system 30-minutes to one-hour after working out," says Mike.
A study in Clinics in Sports Medicine found that DOMS is the result of microtrauma in the muscles and surrounding connective tissues, which causes inflammation. The reason that eccentric muscle contraction (think lowering a dumbbell back down in a biceps curl) is more likely to be the culprit is because it places a higher load on your muscles compared to concentric contraction.
"It's the active lengthening of muscle fibers under load. It's like you're pulling on a rope, and there's so much force that the rope starts to tear and pull apart," says Mike.
Daily Burn: 5 exercise machines that aren't worth your time 

Myth #2: It's not a good workout unless you get DOMS.
We often wear our DOMS as a badge of honor and believe that if we're not sore, we're not doing enough during out workouts. But that's just not true.
"It doesn't mean that you're not getting as good of a workout because you're not crippled the next day," says Monica Vazquez, NASM certified personal trainer. "You should feel [soreness] 24 hours to three days after the activity. If, after three days, you try to do the same exercise and you cannot because you go immediately to muscle failure, you've done too much."
According to Mike, studies have shown that soreness itself (using a scale from 0 to 10 to assess the level of soreness) is poorly correlated as an indicator of muscle adaptation and growth. There are many factors that influence how DOMS presents itself in individuals.
"There is great variability, even between people with similar genetics and even among highly-trained lifters [and athletes]," he says. So while comparing notes (and commiserating) is all part of the process, soreness and DOMS isn't the best gauge of how effective your workout was or who's in better shape.

Myth #3: The more fit you are, the less susceptible you are to DOMS.
It's true that you will start to feel less sore as your body adapts to your workouts and learns to distribute the workload across your muscle fibers more effectively. That's why you should regularly change up your exercise routine.
However, there is also a genetic component to how sensitive we are to pain and soreness.
"People can be no-responders, low-responders or high-responders to soreness," says Mike. If you're a high-responder, you will experience DOMS more acutely than someone who is a no- or low-responder when given the same training load. While you can't change your genes, it is important to know where you fall on the spectrum to understand how your body may respond to changes in your workouts.
Daily Burn: How to do a pull-up (or add more reps)

Myth #4: Muscle damage is a bad thing.
Yes, DOMS appears to be caused by trauma to your muscle fibers, but it's not a definitive measure of muscle damage. In fact, a certain degree of soreness seems to be necessary.
"When muscles repair themselves, they get larger and stronger than before so that [muscle soreness] doesn't happen again," says Vazquez.
While these mechanisms are not completely understood, Mike notes that some muscle trauma is needed to stimulate protein production and muscle growth.

Myth #5: Pre- and post-workout stretching is a good way to prevent and treat DOMS.
Unfortunately, no. A review of studies for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews on the effects of stretching before or after exercise on the development of delayed-onset muscle soreness found that pre- and post-workout stretching did not reduce the effects of DOMS in healthy adults. In fact, research has found that static stretching prior to working out does not safeguard you against injury and may actually decrease your power and strength.
While you may not be able to avoid soreness altogether, ACSM suggests advancing slowly with a new workout, giving your muscles time to adapt and recover. Vazquez recommends always including a proper warm-up (including dynamic stretching), and cool-down period as part of your routine

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Staying Healthy With Natural Health Care

With the growing number of medical issues surrounding the current health care system, people are becoming increasingly frustrated with treatment results and the expense of maintaining personal health. Are you concerned about or wondering if it's possible to naturally treat health issues without killing yourself? A growing number of people are turning to alternative medicine and natural health care and doing so very successfully. Natural, everyday, common sense methods of preventing illness and maintaining optimal health do exist.

What does your body need to maintain proper health?

This is a question that continues to be asked, why, I don't know, because there are no hidden secrets about this. In fact I'm sure you probably already know the answer.

o Proper diet

It is known that many health problems (heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and others) are exasperated by improper and poor diets. We live in a fast paced world driven by extreme commercialism that bombards us with images of super sized hamburgers, fries and extra large sodas. Many of our foods come in boxes loaded with artificial ingredients and real, un-natural, man-made chemicals to help us exist in our fast paced life. The first thing we need to do in maintaining our health is to get back to a healthy natural food based diet.

o Moderate exercise

Sitting on the couch watching TV or driving the car to the mailbox is not moderate exercise. Walking, bicycling, swimming, tennis, hiking, gymnastics, dancing and weight training are forms of exercise that we need in our daily lives. Achieving 30 minutes of some form of cardiovascular activity several times a week has a huge payback in maintenance of health, appearance, and well being.

o Excess avoidance (drugs, alcohol, fast food, smoking)

There is no mistake that excessive use of drugs, alcohol, fast food and smoking have a detrimental effect on health. If you are using any of these substances in excess you can expect to live a much shorter and unhealthier life. Even if you use these substances in moderation you may experience a shorter and unhealthier life.

o Good genetics

Now here's something you cannot control. We've all heard of the guy that smoked 2 packs of cigarettes' a day until he was 92 then got stepped on by an elephant while dancing with his 38 year old girl friend. There are those that are fortunate to be born to parents and grandparents that took care of their health. Then there are those that are born to parents/grandparents that did not enjoy healthy lifestyles. And let's face it; Mother Nature can be quite cruel at times as well. No matter what the case, your life and health can be improved by proper diet, exercise, and excess avoidance.

Other methods and forms of natural health care

While the things mentioned above are fundamentals of natural health care, there are other methods and forms of natural treatment and care that complement healthy living. We know that even healthy people are going to become ill with common ailments and diseases from time to time. However there are things that can be done to minimize the effects and duration of the inevitable cold, flu, pain, rash, and other common ailments or diseases that are sure to come from time to time.

Herbs and vitamins

Many natural herbs and vitamins can be obtained from health stores that strengthen our natural immunity to health issues. If you are experiencing a particular health issue, a trip to the health store should be considered, there will be a supplement that can help you overcome your health issue.

Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine focuses on how the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements of the body are interconnected to maintain wellness (holistic health). When one part of the body or mind is not working properly, it is believed to affect the whole person. Holistic approaches focus on the whole person rather than just on the illness or part of the body that is not healthy. There are many holistic practitioners available to help you with your health and well being.


Acupuncture is a treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TM), a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of TM is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qui (pronounced "cheek") flows through energy pathways (meridians) in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one organ, or group of organs, that governs particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qui is thought to create health and wellness. Many ailments and health problems are treated with acupuncture by inserting a set of tiny needles at points along the meridians.

For those that cannot tolerate the thought of needles poking their skin, there is a form of needless acupuncture available. Check out the resource box below to get more information.


Acupressure is often called acupuncture without the needles. Instead of needles, acupressure involves the application of manual pressure (usually with the fingertips) to specific points on the body. Acupressure is typically used for:

    Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy/ morning sickness
    Motion sickness
    Nausea after surgery
    Nausea due to chemotherapy
    Cancer-related fatigue
    Menstrual cramps
    Muscle tension and pain

Magnetic Health Care

Magnetics have been around for several hundred years and has found a place in natural health care. There are many products available using static magnetic fields that offer relief of pain and reduction or elimination of many health ailments. One of the most common type of magnetic health care products is the magnetic bracelet. There are other products that emit electromagnetic pulses that have greater potential of providing natural health care treatment than products offering a single static magnetic field.

Chiropractic Health care

Believe it or not Chiropractic health care is a form of natural alternative health care. Chiropractic health care is based upon the fact that all organ, tissue, and gland functions are controlled via nervous system input starting from signals in the brain cascading downward via the spinal cord and peripheral nerves. On some occasions, the spinal bones (vertebra) which protectively surround the spinal cord can misalignment or sublimate creating increased pressure upon the nerve roots that pass between the vertebrae. This increased pressure strangles or pinches the nerve roots, thus decreasing the impulses to the end organs. Prolonged pressure upon these nerves causes disease states to develop, whether it be muscular or internal. Spinal adjustments are high speed, low force procedures that restore the spinal bones into their correct alignment, thus relieving stress upon the spinal nerves. Once the stress has been relieved upon the nerves, the body can naturally be restored to 100% of its healing capacity.

There has been a real shift in the way people think about their health. Rising health care costs as well as inherent risks that come with medical treatments and pharmaceutical drugs is becoming a legitimate concern. You can take charge and responsibility of your own health care and live a long and healthy life. Of course there will be times when a doctor is needed for your health care, but with self administered natural health care those times can be minimized. To your health!

Woody Long acre is a writer and publisher of articles for the Internet. This article was written for Immune Sentry, LTD. Please visit for information about an amazing Natural Health Care Product.

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Stress and Result

Conditions that cause stress or time always happen. This can not be avoided as a lifestyle in the modern world is fast paced.Do you know about the various effects of stress on our system? It can damage some systems. It even managed to weaken our bodies to the extent in which the immune system in despair.Instead of just reading information just like that, it is important for us to take a stand. Make a decision to do whatever we can to reduce the adverse effects of stress. Stress can kill, so do not let it kill you or your loved ones. Individuals suffering from stress always lose the energy needed for their daily life. If this happens, it can instill negative attitudes in their lives. Depression will occur and trigger a negative impact on individual lives.

Failure to deal with stress can also have an adverse effect on health. Normally the immune system to defend the body from disease. However, stress can weaken the immune system. If this happens, the person will be more prone to deadly diseases such as cancer and heart problems. At the same time, if he is dealing with health problems, it can make things worse.

General know heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world. Some of the symptoms or sign of heart disease associated with stress. The sudden increase in blood pressure and heart palpitations are continuing between the signs. Based on these facts, it is important for someone to do something if they find themselves unable to cope with stress. They have to solve the problem as soon as possible to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of stress can kill.

Easy Ways to Overcome Stress There are several steps that must be taken to avoid the adverse effects of stress. By adopting the following measures, the risk of adverse effects of stress can be reduced.

1. The Right Nutrition

Eating the right foods helps us to face the challenges of everyday life. Make sure you do not forget to eat at meal times so that you have enough energy to perform daily tasks. At the same time, a balanced diet will ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Therefore make sure you take food that contributes to your well-being. Take protein, B vitamins ( B and B ), folic acid and minerals.

2. Do not burden yourself

Sometimes one is too ambitious and self-sufficiency forget. Therefore important that we prevent ourselves from taking over tasks that can be implemented. Perform tasks piecemeal. Break down large tasks into several small tasks that can be completed in a shorter period. In this way, it will ease the burden of our body and mind.

3. relax

If you are always busy and do not get enough sleep, think of the good. Our bodies need a break after working for some time. Therefore do not let a week go by without rest and sleep soundly. Try to take leave after implementing a series of heavy-duty. Listening to classical music is good or take time to be alone and relax the mind will help us in the long run.

4. Interacting with Family and Friends

It is nice to be a powerful work. However, do not forget, as a human being we need the support of those around us. Make sure you take the time to do leisure activities together with family and friends. This will eliminate any qualms in the mind. At the same time it will help you build a positive outlook when you returned to work.

Stress can actually kill but it does not have to be so. Important for a person to have control over her life. Protect yourself and health by adopting measures that will help manage stress well.

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Answering Health And Productivity

It's a commonly held belief that
healthy people are more productive.
Recent studies we've all heard of seem
to overwhelmingly support that belief.
Now, I'm no scientist, so I wouldn't
begin to question their findings, but,
doesn't it follow that productive people
are more healthy?  If so, we have
in our hands an amazingly simple method
to improve our own health, without
insurance, government assistance or any
other of the trappings thought of as
necessary for good health.  This
article will focus on the flip side of it enhances health.

Aging And Illness:  We used to
believe aging and illness were just our
bodies wearing out over time.  The
older we get, the higher the chances of
a fatal disease...right?  Of
course!  The extreme training
athletes undergo to push their bodies to
the limit does wear them out, but this
isn't the case for the rest of us.
For most people, aging and illness isn't
our bodies wearing out, but rusting out.
It's as if we left a pair of pliers out
in the weather.  Before long,
they'd be unable to function.  It's
the same for us!  Just breathing
creates a process in our bodies, called
oxidation (rusting).  Oxidation
sets us up for a number of illnesses,
cancer, being one of the better known
ones.  As the oxidation process
continues, our bodies become less
efficient at maintaining health, until
we can't function and are at risk for an
increasing number of diseases.  If
wearing ourselves out were a concern, no
doctor would recommend exercise for
health.  In fact, non-productivity
speeds up the oxidation just like a pair
of unused pliers.

Non-Productivity:  While there
are exceptions that can be found, it's
no accident that those who are less
productive in society (rich and poor,
alike) are the most unhealthy, often
morbidly obese and invariably unhappy.
I haven't seen any studies of
productivity and mental illness but
there is no reason to assume there
wouldn't be just as strong a
relationship as with physical illness.
We'll get into some of the physical
mechanisms involved in a moment, but
let's finish with the issue of
non-productivity.  Everyone knows,
if you don't use your muscles, they
become weaker.  If you tied your
arm up for a year or more, it's possible
you could never use it again.  The
same is true of mental abilities.
Don't exercise your mind and you'll be
gradually less able to use it.  In
fact, there's an old saying based on
this principle.  "If you don't use
it, you lose it."  It's so reliable
a principle, you can find it in the
Bible.  while this article isn't
about spiritual health, both science and
social wisdom agree with the Bible that productivity is required if
we wish to continue functioning.

Productivity And Body Chemistry:
Every body functions as a goal-striving,
achieving mechanism.  We were
designed to do stuff!  When we stop
doing stuff, we break down.  Early
studies discovered a group of chemicals
produced in our bodies whenever we
engaged in sexual
intercourse...endorphins.  They are
largely responsible for our drive to
reproduce.  These chemicals are
better than anything at the pharmacy or
on the street.  They reduce stress,
relax us, give us a euphoric feeling,
make us happy and reduce pain.  In
fact, next time she says, "I have a
headache." tell her that's why you were
offering sex.  There have been some
amazing discoveries, recently,
concerning these endorphins.  We
learned that physical exercise produces
them.  Then, we learned that any
kind of productive physical activity
produces them.  People don't sing
because they're happy...they're happy
because they sing.  In fact, we're
learning that mental exercise and
activity produces the same chemicals.
Just reading a book or listening to
music...doing something...produces
endorphins.  Over time, these
endorphins are very effective at
relieving many mental illnesses,
including anxiety and depression.
Just like our sex-drive, we were
designed to be productive, achieving
beings.  Our physical health and
our mental health depend on it.

Here it is...a shocking and simple
method to maintain our own mental and
physical productive.
Unless we're suffering a severe mental
or physical disability, we have control
over our physical and mental well-being.
Feeling down?  Listen to music,
whistle!  Feeling anxious?
Take a walk, mow the lawn!  Don't
feel like exercising?  Exercise and
you'll feel like it!  Start slowly
if you haven't exercised.  Try a 10
minute walk and gradually build up speed
and distance.  Eventually, we get
to a tipping point, where we feel happy
and fulfilled most of the time, and that
happiness, believe it or not, produces
endorphins.  If you've been
depressed, stressed or anxious, maybe
even being medicated for it, how would
it hurt for you to start an exercise
program or take classes, do volunteer
work or take up singing.  You want
to be healthy and happy?  Step up
your productivity!  That's what we
were designed for.

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The Increasing Surge of Health Care

While sitting back in her blue jeans and wearing a heavy workout sweater at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital's Emergency room, Angela Jones has her feet prompted up and crossed atop of a small table. When asked about health care issues and how they affect her, Angela explains that there is a portion of people who suffer from not having health care insurance. She makes it clear that some of those who suffer most are young people. Jones, who is a college student, declared her passion for the young because it falls under her own age group.

Says Jones, "The Oregon Health Plan should be open to more people who are under 21 years old. Private insurance shouldn't be so expensive for young people."

According to national surveys, the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage. Notwithstanding, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of the uninsured reported changing their way of life significantly in order to pay medical bills. Economists have discovered that increasing health care costs correlate to drops in health insurance coverage.

Jones believes that some of the greatest challenges that people face across this nation is obtaining affordable health care. "I would open an Oregon Health Plan to a variety of people who don't have insurance. It is hard to get health insurance."

Terri Heber, a registered nurse at a local hospital, claims that in order to improve America's health care system a key ingredient is to "make sure that everyone (has) access."

This would include cutting out on expenses that are not palpable to so called "health care needs". Heber says, "First, we spend a lot of money servicing people for illnesses that can be prevented. Some of the money spent can go to other things."

Over the long haul, should the nations health care system undergo significant changes, the typical patient may not necessarily see the improvements firsthand. "I would love to say there will be a lot of changes. I am not a pessimist, but I don't think there will be any change," says Heber. Heber does allude to the fact that if more money were spent for people in the health care arena, she says that there is a possibility that the necessary changes would be more evident.

Whether health care is affordable or not is an issue that affects everyone. According to a recent study last year, health care spending in the United States reached $2.3 trillion, and is projected to reach $3 trillion by 2011. By 2016, it is projected to reach $4.2 trillion. Although it is estimated that nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, the U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation.

The rising tide of health care stems from several factors that has an affect on us all. First, there is an intensity of services in the U.S. health care system that has undergone a dramatic change when you consider that people are living longer coupled with greater chronic illnesses.

Secondly, prescription drugs and technology have gone through significant changes. The fact that major drugs and technological advancement has been a contributing factor for the increase in health care spending. Some analysts suggest that the improvement of state-of-art technologies and drugs increase health care spending. This increase not only attributes to the high-tech inventions, but also because consumer demand for these products has gone through the roof, so to speak.

Thirdly, there is an aging of the population. Since the baby boomers have reached their middle years, there is a tremendous need to take care of them. This trend will continue as baby boomers will qualify for more Medicare in 2011.

Lastly, there is the factor of administrative costs. Some would argue that the private sector plays a critical role in the rise of health care costs and the economic increase they produce in overhead costs. At the same time, 7 percent of health care expenses are a result of administrative costs. This would include aspects of billing and marketing.

Terra Lincoln is a woman who was found waiting in the Emergency room at the Providence Portland Medical Center. When asked about the rising costs of health care, she said, "If you don't have medical coverage, it'll cost you too much money. If I leave the hospital right now and I need to buy two (types) of medicines, I couldn't afford it." Lincoln says that she is a member of the HP, but she believes that there are still issues that need to be addressed.

Terra recognizes that to reduce medical costs, she would have to start by getting regular checkups. "Sometimes people of color wait till they're in pain before they get a checkup," she said.

A national survey shows that the primary reason why people cannot afford health care is because of soaring costs of health care coverage. In a recent Wall-Street Journal-NBC survey it is reported that 50% of the American public claims that their highest and most significant economic concern is health care. Consequently, the rising cost of health care is the number one concern for Democratic voters.

Regarding the rising tide of health care, Kristin Vender bush, a native Wisconsin, and another patient in emergency at Providence says, "I worry a lot about what happens to the working poor. They don't have HP. If you can't advocate for yourself, you will not get the health care you need...on every level."

Harvard University researchers conducted a recent study that discovered that the out-of-pocket medical debt for an average consumer who filed bankruptcy was $12,000. This study noted that 68 percent of those who had filed for bankruptcy carried health insurance. Apparently, these bankruptcy's were results from medical expenses. It was also noted in this study that every 30 seconds someone files for bankruptcy after they have had some type of serious health problem.

In spite of all the social and economic bureaucracy in the health care arena, some changes were made in Washington on January 28, 2008. In his State of the Union address, President Bush made inquired Congress to eliminate the unfair bias of the tax code against people who do not get their health care from their employer. Millions would then have more options that were not previously available and health care would be more accessible for people who could not afford it.

Consequently, the President believes that the Federal government can make health care more affordable and available for those who need it most. Some sources suggest that the President not only wants health care to be available for people, but also for patients and their private physicians so that they will be free to make choices as well. One of the main purposes for the health care agenda is to insure that consumers will not only have the freedom to make choices, but to also enable those to make decisions that will best meet their health care needs.

Kerry Weensy, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, oversees the State Children's Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP. This is a critical program because it pays for the health care of more than six and a half million children who come from homes that cannot afford adequate health insurance. These homes exceed the pay scale for Medicaid programs, therefore are not able to participate.

During Chips' ten year span, states have used the program to assist families with low-income and uninsured children for their sense of well-being in the health care arena. The Bush Administration believes that states should do more of an effort to provide for the neediest children and enable them to get insurance immediately. The CHIP was originally intended to cover children who had family incomes ranging from $20,650. This amount would typically include a family of four. According to sources, all states throughout the U.S. have CHIP programs in place and just over six million children are served.

Children and Health Care

Washington's Perspective

What is driving health care costs?

The fact that the U.S. faces ever increasing health care woes, has left many to believe that the country's current crisis is on a lock-step path toward dissolvability.

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