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I’m Gaining Weight With Exercise?

Posted Aug 01 2009 12:00am

If you are trying to lose weight you may have experienced a slight increase in weight when you ramp up exercise or begin a weight resistance training program. Why is this? It is because the muscles that you are working are producing lactic acid and other metabolites that build up in the tissues. This can be sometime 1-4 pounds of fluid that will be eventually excreted from the body in about 3-5 days. It is due to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which describes a phenomenon of muscle pain, muscle soreness or muscle stiffness that is felt 12-48 hours after exercise, particularly at the beginning of a new an exercise program, after a change in sports activities, or after a dramatic increase in the duration or intensity of exercise. Don’t worry, the increase in weight is only temporary. As your muscles get used to the work they are doing, you will no longer have the accumulated fluid.

What can be done to help the situation?

  • Drink more water to flush out the fluid.
  • Wait. Soreness will go away in 3 to 7 days with no special treatment.
  • Try a hot bath or shower to reduce soreness and increase range of motion.
  • A light workout will actually help alleviate some of the tightness and tenderness you feel. The light exercise will get blood pumping to your muscles, and afterward, your soreness should feel much less painful
  • Massage the sore areas.
  • Low heat therapy can help relax the muscles and make them feel better.

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