Why do you get sore the day after your workout? What causes you to feel stiff and and unable to walk up the stairs? No, you are not injured. The soreness that you are feeling is called DOMS and stands for delayed onset muscle soreness. It can be mild to severe and everyone can be effected by it. Do not be afraid to exercise when you feel it because the more you move the quicker it will go away. Muscle soreness is most commonly felt when you begin a new workout program, change your current routine, or increase the intensityof your workouts. DOMS is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle which creates build up of lactic acid in the muscles causing them to become stiff and tight.
There are lots of methods that you can use to reduce the discomfortof DOMS. People often use static stretching, massage, cardio, epsom salts, or ice baths. You can prevent DOMS from being so severe by doing a proper dynamic warm-up rather than jumping into your workout cold. Make sure to always start with light cardio for 5-10 minutes before your workout. Prior to exercise use a foam roller to roll out your muscles. It is also recommended to cool down with light cardio followed by static stretching. A stretch should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds. Make sure to alter workout intensities each day in order to allow for proper recovery.