That gift is calling

Hey,

How long has it been? I swear you probably thought I died or crawled under some rock to hide. Being open, I don’t even know where I’ve been, but right now I’m here and in this moment. I guess sometimes we need to take a hiatus from the things we enjoy in order to enjoy them. Makes sense? The next time you walk away from something you enjoy. Allow yourself to do it, if you come back, great! If not, that’s fine.

So, why now? Because my gift if my message, my life, my experiences and someone needs to hear them to know that things will be alright.

I’m so happy to have spoken to my friend Leslie. We worked at the gym together. I knew she’d been doing some work as a life coach so I wanted to have that “from then to now” type conversation. It was great. I can’t believe  how great I feel after speaking to her. Sometimes you just need to listen to someone else’s story to learn how to experience yours. After feeling inundated by the stressors in my life (and trust me, yesterday it felt like a week’s worth of stress packed in one) I can openly say how great I feel after today’s conversation. I feel a freeing sensation, as if whatever was on my chest has lifted and my entire body was given permission to relax and feel worthy. My smile fits my face in way it hasn’t, and I’m glad because I’m going to be doing that a lot more lately. Thanks, Leslie!

Not to shamefully advertise, but she’s really cool and knows what she’s doing. If you’re feeling that inner turmoil, that tense feeling you can’t shake that a cup of tea or coffee can’t cure, then maybe it’s time to have a conversation that will penetrate the surface and instill itself into your psyche.

Thanks for reading! Sorry if I scared you, I merely stepped out, I didn’t step down.

Nick

p.s. you can find Leslie here, her website is beautiful.

How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

Hey everyone,

Here’s this month’s article. Ever wondered how your diet is affecting your posture? I explore the relation in this month’s article.

How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

Have you ever thought that your eating habits are affecting your posture and body alignment? You probably know that age, height, fatigue and occupation affect your postural alignment. There are so many other factors that impact your posture, but what about nutrition? In this article, you’ll learn how and why your nutritional choices could be leading to postural misalignment.

To learn more, I consulted Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian, Melissa Halas-Liang, M.S. to discuss the subject. “The right diet helps avoid excessive weight,” was her opening statement. She continued, “The more weight you’re carrying is more detrimental to your posture.” Melissa explains that your lumbar curve maintains your upright posture and supports the weight of your body.

Excess weight places stress on your bones, muscles and joints and can cause an unnatural curvature of the spine. “Extra weight in the stomach pulls the pelvis forward and strains the lower back, creating lower back pain.” You read that correctly, your diet might be affecting your lower back, but it’s not just weight gain that’s affecting your posture, your nutrient intake and eating practices during meal times are also creating an issue.

Vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health and posture. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, Melissa urges that you get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet. “Vitamin D plays a major role in calcium absorption, bone health, muscle performance, balance and risk of falling,” she says. Sun exposure is also an important source of vitamin D, but you also need to ensure you’re receiving enough from your diet. While calcium can be found in dairy products, fortified foods and dark green leafy vegetables, vitamin D can be found in fortified milks and cereals, egg yolk, salt-water fish and liver. UV-treated mushrooms are a good plant source.Not convinced? Have you heard of kyphosis? It’s an exaggerated forward rounding of the back and while it has several possible origins one cause of kyphosis is when osteoporosis weakens and compresses the spinal bones. “Among the lifestyle factors that increase osteoporosis risk are low calcium intake and vitamin D insufficiency,” says Melissa.

Older adults are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency; anyone who has limited sun exposure or kidney issues also needs to be aware of this information. Please consult your physician if you’re unsure whether you’re not receiving adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Do not take supplements until you ascertain this information.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) website explains that excessive alcohol, caffeine, coffee and soft drink intake is detrimental to bone health because they interfere with calcium absorption and could contribute to bone loss. For you soft drink lovers, not every soft drink is bad for you. The NOF explains that colas, but not most other soft drinks, are associated with bone loss. “The carbonation in soft drinks does not cause any harm to bones. The caffeine and phosphorous commonly found in colas may contribute to bone loss. Like calcium, phosphorous is a part of the bones. It is listed as an ingredient in colas, some other soft drinks and processed foods as ‘phosphate’ or ‘phosphoric acid’.” By getting enough calcium to meet your body’s needs, you can make up for the loss.

So what about meal times? It often feels like the bulk of our problems originate from our habits around food and our meal times, but how does posture come into play? Melissa explains that eating while watching TV or on the computer means that people are usually slouched on their couch or slumped over their screens; neither are correct sitting positions for good posture and body alignment.

Additionally, you may be eating more calories while using social media and when enjoying some form of entertainment; this will lead to excess weight gain that could impact your postural alignment. Melissa blames late night, mindless eating of fatty, salty and sugary foods. You need to eat at a table, sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back without distractions (Implement NPI’s Four Points of Posture™); prevent mindless eating by becoming more mindful of your eating habits and food choices.

Your nutritional habits during meal times and your food choices affect your posture and body alignment. Ensure you’re receiving enough calcium and vitamin D and please consult a physician before taking supplements. Remember, be aware of your posture while eating and avoid eating mindlessly, you’ll look more confident and save yourself excess weight gain.

 References:

  • Halas-Liang, Melissa Personal interview. 11 February 2015.
  • “Food and Your Bones.” Food and Your Bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <nof.org/foods>.

To see the article and other articles from our website, see the link here

Know your risk

Hey everyone, here’s another short, but great read for all the fitness and non-fitness pros. This month I covered an article relating to risk stratification. It’s published on the National Posture Institute’s website, but I wanted to post it below as well for easy access. Still, check out their resources and Facebook page, they have tons of certifications, CEC/CEU opportunities and educational material to help health/medical and fitness professionals.

Without further ado:

Health Screening: What You Should Do When Starting a New Exercise Program

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

All of my new clients must perform a health screening process. As a personal trainer and NPI-Certified Posture Specialist™ it’s important that I perform some form of assessment and risk stratification to ensure that my clients are able to meet the demands of the new regimen. Sometimes, clients aren’t able to dive into a new routine because they are considered “high risk” due to a health related issue. In this article, you’ll learn more about the health forms and criteria that can determine your risk levels and what you need to do if you’re considered “high risk”.

If this is the first time you’re reading about health screening or assessments then this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more. Every personal trainer and health/medical professional should take you through an assessment process. The American College of Sports Medicine website states that fitness assessments will help in the development of individualized training programs and can be used to check for heart disease and other chronic diseases.

 Assessments include Medical History forms, a Physical Activities Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q), a Cardiovascular Risk Factor form, Informed Consent and a Physician Clearance form. A PAR-Q will determine your readiness to exercise. A medical form will ask for detailed information like blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol levels, heart disease and stroke. It may also ask what medications you’re currently taking.

If you’ve never taken any of these assessments and you’re working with a trainer I suggest you ask them to conduct assessments because they don’t have a solid idea of who you are and run the risk of putting your health in danger.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has created a risk stratification form that allows the professional to determine whether you’re low, medium or high risk and in need of modifications or further medical evaluation before beginning your new program.

The ACSM form examines age, family history, cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia (related to cholesterol levels) as criteria for assessing your risk level. In ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing & Prescription if you have symptoms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), or you’ve been diagnosed with a known cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic disease then you’re considered “high risk” and require a physician’s approval before starting an exercise program.

If there are no symptoms of CVD or a diagnosed disease, but you have less than two risk factors then you’re considered “low risk”. If you have two or more risk factors then you’re considered “medium risk”. If you fall into the low or medium risk areas then you don’t require a physician’s approval, but it’s always advised that you still see a health professional if you’re unsure about your wellbeing.

Confused about your risk? Here’s an example: If you’re currently a smoker, obese, live a sedentary lifestyle and may have hypertension and be pre-diabetic, you’re considered “medium risk”. If you have only one symptom—sedentary lifestyle or you’re a cigarette smoker— then you’re considered “low risk”. However, if you have heart disease, chest pain, known heart murmur or other signs or symptoms suggestive of a disease then you’re considered “high risk” and need to see a doctor before committing to a program.

If you’re starting a new exercise program I highly suggest you urge your professional to conduct a health screening process to find out more about your medical, fitness and health information as it will give you both a better sense of how your needs can be met while avoiding a problem. Safety is your best bet and knowing your health status is applying that principle.

Personal trainers and health professionals need to conduct a health screening process before starting a new program. If you have a known disease like CVD, or show signs and symptoms of a major problem then you’re considered “high risk” and need physician clearance. If these symptoms and diseases are absent then you could be low or medium risk. It’s advised that you still consult a doctor if you’re starting a new program or you’re unsure about your medical history.

 

References:

  • Percia, Matthew, Davis Shala PhD, and Gregory R Dwye. “Getting a Professional Fitness Assessment.” ACSM | Articles. ACSM, 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. .
  • Thompson, Walter R. ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Print.

National Posture Institute’s 2015 State of Industry Survey

Hi everyone,

I had the privilege of working on the National Posture Institute’s 2015 State of the Industry survey. For all the fit professionals who want to see the review, I’ve posted the link and the information below.

National Posture Institute (NPI) Survey Report

2015 State of the Industry Survey:  Posture, Health, and Fitness Report

The National Posture Institute (NPI) believes that posture, exercise performance, injury prevention, and education surrounding body alignment and exercise selection are important areas of concern for fitness and allied-health/medical professionals. NPI created its 2015 State of the Industry Survey to determine whether professionals were prepared to work with clients on posture correction/exercises and to review the current state of the industry and upcoming trends. This report will review NPI’s State of the Industry’s 2015 Survey results.

NPI surveyed personal trainers, physical therapists, physiotherapists, group exercise instructors, athletic/sports performance specialists, P.E. teachers, chiropractors and other allied-health, medical and fitness based professionals for this study. The majority of our respondents work as personal trainers/exercise professionals in settings such as health clubs/fitness facilities, home-based training, private practice training, corporate offices/fitness centers and college/universities. An additional group of respondents work as physical therapists, chiropractors, ergonomic specialists, athletic trainers and other allied health/medical professional in hospitals, medically-based fitness sites, sports performance sites and private clinics.

Respondents indicated that they work with a diverse client age group from young children (29%) to (80+) older adults (51%). Respondents stated their client base includes children/adolescents, stay at home moms/dads, corporate executives, office workers, athletes, academics, retirees and health/medical professionals.

As indicated on the survey, clients/patients “sometimes” inquire about posture and body alignment and 78% of professionals are actively educating them on the subject. Professionals also indicated that they generally conduct assessments on their clients. When asked about conducting posture assessments, 75% say they conduct posture assessments on a regular basis. Balance/agility skills, muscular strength and endurance assessments are also predominantly being used by professionals. When asked about corrective exercise programs, 53% say they use them. However, when asked whether corrective exercises for posture related injuries are being administered the responses were almost tied.

The survey shows that 69% of respondents have received training on how to conduct and create programs that focus on posture and body alignment. While some received little training from personal training organizations, others note that they learned some information about posture through books and/or magazine articles. The majority of respondents received educational training from the National Posture Institute (NPI); It was listed as the primary organization to learn about posture education, assessments and exercise movements.

Professionals indicated that they prefer using free weights, suspension and body weight training as opposed to commercial strength training/circuit training equipment when working with their clients/patients. The most popular exercises mentioned were: squats, lunges, step-ups, bicep and triceps curls, back rows, push-up variations, frontal/lateral raises and planks. It should come as no surprise then that exercise tubing, stability balls, body weight exercises and free weights/dumbbells took top spots when asked about the modalities being used while training.

Professionals believe that the most prevalent postural deviations seen in their clients are “forward head posture,” “rounded shoulders,” and “muscular imbalances”. They also indicated that the most common injury sites are the “lower back,” “rotator cuff,” and the “knees”. Respondents believe that the programs that could most likely cause an injury are power lifting, heavy lifting, Olympic style lifting, Crossfit and plyometrics.

Summary

The results show that fitness, health and allied-health/medical professionals are becoming more aware of posture, body alignment and exercise selection. They are actively developing programs for their clients/patients with posture and body alignment in mind. Professionals are predominantly working with clients/patients that range from ages as young as 5 (five) to 80+ years old. Respondents stated their client base includes children/adolescents, stay at home moms/dads, corporate executives, office workers, athletes, academics and health/medical professionals.

Professionals are conducting fitness and posture assessments; many of the respondents have learned to perform postural assessments and corrective exercises from the National Posture Institute. Clients/patients “sometimes” inquire about posture, but professionals that responded to this survey are actively educating them on the subject.

Fitness, health and medical professionals must continue to learn about posture and body alignment. As professionals, being aware of these areas allow for greater vigilance when selecting programs, methods and exercises for clients/patients. Professionals must continue taking the initiative and actively discussing the subject of posture with their clients/patients. Though their current responsibilities are great, professionals must not overlook the negative effects of poor posture and body alignment. Lastly, professionals must take an active role in becoming strong role models that can educate the public about proper posture, alignment and exercise performance.

http://www.npionline.org/survey/2015 (For more information on posture, certifications related to fitness/nutrition/posture and more, check out the rest of their website.)

Why sitting for too long is killing you

Well, by now you’ve heard of this…right? If not, this brief video is a must watch on the reasons why sitting too much is a killer.

 

Accountability: Even the Fitness Industry Needs It

Hi everyone, hope your 2015 is turning out well. If not, hang in there and work for what you need to happen. Here’s a good one for you. How do you when the fitness pro is performing the technique correctly? Generally, you won’t. So even the fitness industry and its professionals need to be held accountable. I discuss this in my first article this year, published on the National Posture Institute website here, but you can read it below also:

Accountability: Even the Fitness Industry Needs It

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

It’s the start of a new year and many of the old year’s habits need to be left behind. How do you know when a fitness professional is performing an exercise in good form and body alignment? You don’t; If you’re not exercise savvy then the likelihood of being misled is high. Fitness organizations and professionals need to be more aware of form and body alignment when posting exercises.

Last year, after opening a monthly newsletter from a major fitness organization I noticed the model’s posture and body alignment was off. Her head and neck were lurching forward as she sat up, frozen in place. The fitness model from the newsletter was trying to work her abdominals while simultaneously putting her neck and spine at risk. It wasn’t the first time I saw something like this; I’ve seen professionals performing techniques with improper form and body alignment. It’s time that organizations and professionals in the fitness industry take account for these problems. The public will emulate these techniques.

According to an article by Nikitow Chiropractic, one of the most common posture problems is forward head posture (FHP). Repetitive computer, TV, video game, phone and backpack usage, alongside poor exercise form can force our bodies to adopt this problem. Repetitively lurching the head and neck forward can strengthen nerve and muscle pathways to move that way more readily. In short, repetition of forward head movements combined with poor ergonomic postures can lead to FHP. Was the professional, and the organization, aware of FHP when they posted that image?

Incorrect Correct

Dimitri Onyskow and I spoke about the problem. As the Educational Fitness Solution’s Director of Academic Relations, he deals with these issues: “I think most organizations do not want to acknowledge the fact that they have been promoting poor technique,” he says, “If they did, they would be admitting they were wrong. Instead, they choose to ignore it in hopes that no one else will notice.”

Dimitri says that the problem exists in major fitness organizations that offer corrective exercise programs: “What most don’t understand is if a client is doing a ‘corrective exercise’ movement in poor alignment, all they are doing is adding strength to an already imbalanced frame. And this will lead to injury down the road. It is imperative that proper technique is taught throughout.”

Michele, a fitness club manager, also had a similar experience and shared her utter distaste for some major fitness brands. She says that people are quick to follow these teachings even if they are dangerous. She believes that one of the major problems with these brands is the bad form of their followers: “They often have people doing pointless motions with incorrect form and at ridiculous weights.”

Michele believes that many of the people following routines from these brands have no clue what they’re doing and they think their form is correct. Many are closer to a hospital visit than achieving their results and refuse help when approached about their form.

So can you tell when you’re being misled? It’s difficult to tell, so sometimes you need to seek a second opinion. Keep in mind that every trainer and fitness organization isn’t trying to mislead you, but even the experts get it wrong sometimes. If you’re unsure about a technique, don’t feel it working, or you’re concerned about the danger level then by all means ask questions. Always ask questions, research the topic and pay attention to who is providing the advice.

Good form and proper body alignment should be the goal of every exercise. Organizations and professionals in the fitness industry need to be aware of their form and body alignment while performing exercises. The public won’t know the difference between right and wrong. It’s up to the fitness industry to teach the public the correct methods and to be accountable for their actions.

References:

  • Nikitow, D. (2014). Damaging effects of forward head posture. Retrieved from denvertechchiro/files/fhp_revised.pdf
  • Michele. Personal interview. 7 January 2015
  • Onyskow, Dimitri. Personal Interview. 6 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a fantastic 2015! May you continue to rise and grind through the good and the bad. Take with you all that you’ve learned from 2014 and make it into something beautiful in 2015. All the best!

Fitness Gurus and Self-Proclaimed Experts: Why You Should Avoid Them

Fitness Gurus and Self-Proclaimed Experts: Why You Should Avoid Them

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

After having a conversation with a client I couldn’t believe what someone told her about nutrition and fitness. After speaking with a self-proclaimed fitness expert she felt more drained than enlightened. The conversation stuck with me; the last straw came when I saw an “expert” incorrectly instructing someone on how to perform an exercise. After reading this article I hope you’ll understand why you need to avoid these kinds of people.

 Fitness gurus and self-proclaimed experts are everywhere. Many believe that whatever works for them will work for you and they are often the first to offer advice. They flex muscles, revealing what’s under their shirts, eagerly showcasing what they’ve attained as the proof that their advice is legitimate. You’ll be so convinced that they are experts after an interaction that you might be open toward the diet plans and exercise programs they’re willing to prescribe you even when they lack the qualifications or research to substantiate their claims.

I sat down with Akilah to discuss her experience with one of these experts. Akilah explained that she’s been on a weight loss journey and in a recent conversation she was offered nutritional counseling when she never asked for any. She explained to the guru that she added plums to her diet and he told her that she shouldn’t eat them. “He told me at my weight, my body won’t break down the sugar.” He also told her to completely cut fruits from her diet.

Akilah wasn’t satisfied with the response so she questioned it. She mentioned the difference between natural and processed sugars and reasoned that a single plum, with low sugar but full of vitamins, wouldn’t have adverse effects on her body. After her response, the expert told her to eat whatever she wanted because she “knows it all.”

If you’re a fitness guru or self-proclaimed expert that’s offering advice without any real background or training, please stop it. If you’ve encountered people like this, be careful and have no fear in challenging them. If you receive a negative rebuttal or the answers seem far-fetched then do your own research. Always ask a trained professional; it won’t hurt and most times they will confirm, or deny, the information you’re receiving.

It doesn’t stop here; unprofessional behavior also exists in the fitness industry and unqualified fitness gurus are rampant. I interviewed Thomas Johnson, Certified Trainer and owner of GetupNGetFit, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Brett Willmott, about the subject. Thomas explained that he’d seen his fair share of these “experts” and, like Brett, voiced traits that he felt make for “bad trainers.”

Lack of attentiveness, disregard for safety, improper technique, and a lack of qualifications, knowledge and experience were on the “bad trainer” lists for both Brett and Thomas. These problems are also seen in gurus and self-proclaimed fitness experts, but the main problem with these people is the advice they’re offering. The information, while sometimes correct, might not work for you and could be detrimental to your overall goals.

While the idea of this might make you cringe, Brett ended by offering some direction. He suggested that anyone seeking help from a fitness expert should research them first. Ensure they’re qualified in the area of their instruction and always be prepared to ask questions. “With a well thought out plan, you will be on your way to an educational encounter,” he said.

For qualified fitness trainers and self-proclaimed experts, this is a wake-up call for some and a reminder for others. Even if you don’t fit the category it’s always good to think twice about what you’re discussing with someone. For anyone else, this isn’t a call to dump your trainer or question every detail, but ask yourself if you at least feel comfortable discussing questions with them. They don’t know everything, but they should at least be professional in putting that point across.

Be careful when taking advice from people who aren’t qualified in the area they’re discussing. Self-proclaimed fitness experts are easy to find, but can impart misinformation. Seek a professional and ensure that you’re comfortable asking questions.

 References:

  • Johnson, Thomas. Personal interview. 7 November 2014.
  • Willmott, Brett. Personal interview. 7 November 2014
  • Akilah. Personal interview. 4 November 2014

Why Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) Doesn’t Equate to Physical Success

Here’s another one of my articles that’s posted on the National Posture Institute. It deals with the idea that some people equate being sore to overall goal success. It’s a false belief folks. Not every workout will make you sore, and you shouldn’t focus on being sore as the measure of a good workout. Focus on goal attainment, focus on performance, focus on a better body and a sound mind, and you’ll be much closer to your goal.

Why Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) Doesn’t Equate to Physical Success

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

I recently read an article about muscle soreness as a new workout goal. It seems being sore after a workout is more important than the effectiveness of the workout in helping one achieve their overall goal. Muscle soreness doesn’t equate to an effective workout and it’s not something you should use to gauge your workout, or to strive to achieve in every training session.

When was the last time you performed an exercise or activity and woke up sore the following day? Did the soreness remain even after a few more days? Did your muscles feel achy and was it difficult to move? That sore, uncomfortable feeling when you move is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The soreness you feel doesn’t hit you until the day after a strenuous workout and that’s why it’s considered “delayed onset.”

An article written by John David Maes and Len Kravitz mentions that DOMS is typically experienced by all individuals regardless of fitness level; it’s a normal physiological response to increased exertion. Delayed soreness typically begins to develop 12-24 hours after you exercise and may produce the greatest pain between 24-72 hours

If you’re doing physical activities that are unfamiliar or more intense than your usual routine or you are just starting to exercise; then there’s a higher chance of experiencing DOMs. Alongside soreness you may also experience muscle stiffness, swelling, tenderness to the touch, temporary reductions in strength and in movement, and decreased joint range of motion.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states that the exact cause of DOMS is complex; it’s commonly associated with lactic acid accumulation in the muscle, but it appears to be a side effect of the repair process that develops in response to microscopic muscle damage. In case you were worried about the microscopic muscle damage allow me to put your mind at ease, the micro trauma that happens in muscles after a workout isn’t dangerous and it’s actually a part of the process for building them.

So how did DOMS and feeling achy become the gauge for a workout’s effectiveness? There are many fitness professionals, trends, fads and programs that advocate for higher intensity routines. These programs boast phrases like: “gut busting,” “fat torching,” “muscle building,” “hardcore” and “high intensity” in their descriptions. These programs can make you so sore you’re unable to walk or move properly the next day, but is that really the goal and is it helping the general exerciser achieve their goals?

Muscle soreness isn’t a gauge for success, but it’s common to hear people chatting about their soreness and discussing how they felt days after. While some programs encourage working till you’re sore and try to instill a “no pain, no gain,” mentality, they miss the point of why you’re training in the first place.

While constantly pushing yourself to the limit sounds ambitious, it’s dangerous if you push yourself too hard, too often; you may incur a serious injury in which case you won’t be training any time soon. Muscle soreness is just that; it doesn’t mean that your workout was effective toward achieving your personal goals. Think about the program you’re on and examine if it’s helping you achieve your results.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) website says that training more aggressively doesn’t equate to faster results. While the body does require a certain degree of overload to improve its fitness, training too much and too hard can cause lack of motivation, overuse injuries and overtraining syndrome.

So what should you focus on and how do you deal with it? You need to complete both a fitness and goal assessment first. Think about the reasons you’re doing your program and be open about your current fitness level. Make sure you warm-up before your workouts and seek to progress steadily through your program. If you do become sore, rest is your best option.

The ACSM website explains that you could use ice packs, massage and oral pain relievers while sore. Please understand that these methods reduce pain, but your body still needs to recover; don’t be afraid to take a day or two off if the soreness is too much.

Muscle soreness should never be the goal of a workout and doesn’t equate to an effective exercise session. Remember the reason you’ve started exercising and proceed at your own pace. If you do become sore, rest is your best option. Be honest and open about your capabilities and with patience you’ll be on your way toward goal achievement.

References:

  • Sforzo, Gary, and William Braun. “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).” American College of Sports Medicine. American College of Sports Medicine, 1 Jan. 2011. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.  delayed-onset-muscle-soreness-(doms).pdf>.
  • Maes, Johndavid, and Len Kravitz. “Treating and Preventing DOMS.” DOMS. University of New Mexico, 1 Jan. 2003. Web. 3 Nov. 2014. <unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article folder/domos.html>.
  • McGrath, Christopher. “Myths and Misconceptions: Muscle Soreness.” ACE Fit. American Council on Exercise, 9 Dec. 2013. Web. 3 Nov. 2014. <acefitness/acefit/healthy-living-article/59/3654/myths-and-misconceptions-muscle-soreness/>.