I love dancing and would be super excited to take part in the annual functions in school and college. On the initial days of practice I would put in all the effort to learn the steps, be it any weird postures that we need to get into. But it was the day after, which was a challenge. Getting down the stairs was a nightmare! Being a Physiotherapy student, I knew that this was muscle soreness, but it didn’t matter much because it was only for a few days and it generally did go away… So what if the muscles ache a bit or if the body hurts a bit…give it some time and it will not matter anymore! So this soreness, I thought, was familiar territory for me.
Then, a few months back, I was about to restart my fitness journey. As the past few years had seen me take a complete backseat from the super active life I used to have as a teenager, now gaining weight had become a part of life. To add to that, pregnancy and immersing myself into my new baby’s care hardly left me with any time or motivation to workout. Nonetheless, I gathered courage and started again. I thought to myself “I have been a sportsperson throughout my teenage life, I have been a fairly active adult, getting active now will be a piece of cake…” and how wrong I was! My overconfidence got the worst of me. I remember exercising on the first day, almost 4 months after my delivery. I couldn’t even hold a plank for 10 seconds and the resulting soreness from the workout lasted for an entire week! Well what happened next? Obviously I gave up, all the knowledge about how soreness is inevitable after exercise and how all I need is to be slow but consistent evaporated, and I just left it as it is. I gave up.
I decided to restart work when my baby turned 9 months old, that’s when FTP happened to me. My coach planned out this really nice workout. I promised myself that this time I won’t give up. I decided to take it slow, read up a bit on stretches, warm ups, cool downs. Refresh my exercise therapy knowledge. Luckily for me my body started showing changes, I started feeling lighter. My exercise routines became more fun for me than pain. Did I still have soreness? Of course yes! But just this time I was prepared to tackle it. And really it does get better with time. Once your body is used to working out, the soreness actually feels good because you know you have pushed your body to a limit where it has to change.
Today I have come a long from the 10 second plank to two sets of 2 minutes plank!
So to all those people (read new moms/moms who have never worked out) who get scared after a few sessions in the gym because they are not even able to sit the next day (leg day especially), soreness is a part and parcel of exercising, even the most fit and flexible person gets it but it’s the way you tackle it that matters. Here’s a ready reckoner for those who are starting out –
- Start slow if you have never exercised before.
- Always warm up and do active stretches before a workout.
- Make sure you are exercising with the right form.
- Cool down after a workout and stretch well again.
- And most importantly keep yourself hydrated, it really helps in a lot of ways.
I hope this article will encourage you to get stronger. Being consistent is the essence of any change and change is the only consistent thing in life! So let’s get stronger for our tomorrow even if it means being sore for a bit today!
Article Credits – Nargis Khan (Litfest Submission)