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July 05, 2016 2 min read

Regular exercise provides your life with some major upsides. It can boost your mood, burn fat, build lean muscle, improve brain function, and reduce your risk of contacting various life threatening health conditions like type-2 diabetes and heart disease. But, exercise can also cause your muscles to ache. If you've just started a new workout program (find the perfect program for you on Sweatflix℠), or added a new move, you may find yourself really feeling it for up to 3 days  afterward! This pain is known as  delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and it occurs as a result of the muscle being stressed during exercise. When you exercise, you set off a series of events in the body that involve both structural damage and an inflammatory response. Let's break it down: Structural damage: When you take your workout to the next level, and push yourself beyond what feels easy and comfortable, you are actually causing tiny tears in your muscle. The more intense the training, the greater the amount of damage. Because of these tiny tears, your muscles go into hypertrophy. In other words, the muscles begin to rebuild and repair, bigger and stronger than they were before. When this rebuild begins, the body sends a large number of white blood cells to the area to assess damage. It is this tearing, coupled with cellular inflammation that causes the pain you feel. [bctt tweet="The Science Behind Your Post-Workout Muscle Aches And Pains"] common weight loss questions Inflammatory response: The damage to your muscle fibers activates mononucleated cells which send a signal to other inflammatory cells to come to the area. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, rushes the damaged muscle and releases  immunoregulatory substances known as cytokines that attract more inflammatory cells. Once they are done their job, a  second phase of macrophage begins. Even more white blood cells arrive to clean up debris and begin the regeneration process. All of this activity occurs over the course of a few days so what you do between workouts can be just as important as what you are doing during them! Immediately following your workout, replenish your electrolytes and give your body a healthy dose of natural anti-inflammatories with one of these muscle-recovery beverages! Remember, rest days are not to be missed and you should structure your routine so you are not working the same muscle groups every day. As always, make sure you are getting enough protein. For some creative ways on how to work protein into your diet, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan!    

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