I wasn’t sore before…so why am I always so sore now? This is such a common question asked equally by men and women, sometime after the age of 30 with different fitness levels. They must have something in common!
After first clearing the presence of any serious pathology and assuming that no trauma has taken place, we need to look at postural dysfunction. Our bodies experience changes throughout the aging process. Put simply, our lumbar discs lose the ability to hold as much water and therefore become drier and our elastic fibers which we need for stretch and mobility decrease which make us feel stiff and sore. In addition, we live within a gravitational field which compresses our bodies, we largely work with our arms and head forward of the rest of our body and we sit in slouched positions for a large portion of our days.
This has caused us to utilize the same muscles in the same way over long periods of time which is rarely the most mechanically efficient way for the body to move. When the muscles aren’t working in the most mechanically efficient way, they will make the body feel sore. Most positions are ok for a while, but there is a constant need to change position to get some relief.
While we don’t yet know how to change the aging process, we can learn to use our muscles differently and move the body more efficiently so we are less sore. Most exercise is better than no exercise, but sometimes aches and pains linger because the body is still overusing some muscles while using others less.
Pilates is a great way to learn better movement patterns, strengthen the muscles in lengthened positions all the while increasing your core strength. This results in more movement and strength in all positions which makes you able to go through your day feeling stronger, more flexible and less sore!