Posted by: Ice | 2005/12/12

Muscles - legs - always sensitive

I'm very active, cycle occationally, do spinning 4x a week and run twice a week. I also follow a mild gym programme.

I've cut down on my excercise in the last year, however I'm always aware of muscle soreness - It is not a cramping sensation and I do take a mineral supplement. I never experienced this when I was younger and worked harder?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Ice

It's difficult to say what may be causing your soreness. Ordinarily, someone who suffers from such muscle stiffness would be an inexperienced exerciser, who has recently upped the training volume, perhaps, and whose muscles are not yet adapted enough to handle extra training. This does not seem to be the case with you. The only thing I can then suggest is that you are over-exercising. That is not to say that you are training too hard, it may simply be that over many months, you have exercised consistently and not ever taken enough of a rest to allow the body to adapt. We all obey what is called the general adaptation principle. This means that when you start something new, the body takes a while to adapt, it's very difficult at first, there's a lot of stiffness and fatigue, but over time, you get stronger and it becomes easy to do what, a few months earlier, was just about impossible. However, if the 'stimulus' (in this case, training), persists, eventually, you reach the phase of breakdown, and I suspect that this may be the case. You did mention that you had even trained more than this up until recently, and so it's quite possible that your body is just fatigued. I would say you should take this festive season as the chance to cut right down on training. Not to stop completely, but to cut back to perhaps only 3 days of exercise a week. Perhaps one jog and two spinning days, and no weights. Then, in the new year, you will still be relatively fit and hopefully the muscle pain will be a thing of the past.

Good luck

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