I can’t touch my knees…

I hear these sorts of statements quite often….”I can’t touch my knees”, I can’t lift my arms up to wash my hair”, “My legs are so sore it hurts to sit on them”.  Last week I had all my wisdom teeth pulled.  This weekend I started to get back into training, doing some mitts and grappling.  I felt so bad I thought I was getting ill.  All this stuff made me realize that it would be a good idea if people had a certain  level of awareness of what their body may go through when they are starting new activity or getting back into the swing of things after a layoff.  There are certain things you can expect and knowing they won’t last forever makes that sometimes difficult period easier to get through.  Here are a couple of thoughts:

1. You may feel worse after working out then you did before, or you may feel not so great during the workout.  One thing that happens when we do a challenging activity that we’re not used to is that a lot of built up toxins get released into our bloodstream.  This is a great thing since they’re on the way out but it is also the reason we feel like crap.  Drink lots of water, work on keeping your diet clean, and this feeling won’t last long.

2.  Depending on what you’re doing you may have an uncomfortable level of soreness.  This happens a lot when people start Jiu-Jitsu, they get really excited about the sport and roll for a long time on their very first day.  The person that does this is not going to enjoy moving around the next day.  This will also fade but you can help the process.  Try and keep in mind that any movement you do that is new to your body is going to cause soreness until your muscles have adapted to the movement.  My 55 year old father started a workout program this weekend after many years of not much activity.  He had the right idea by starting off slow and steady and was able to wake up the next day feeling minimal soreness but feeling the benefits of having done the workout.  I guess the wisdom that we gain as we get older does come in handy.

3.  The more you overdo it in the beginning the harder it’s going to be to stick with your new program.  It’s much easier to come back that second day if you didn’t need assistance getting out of bed that morning.  Give yourself the best chance you can for success.

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