Overcome muscle pain and get moving again.

By Bethany Gumper

No More Muscle Pain

Think back to the last time you challenged your body, whether it was with a kickboxing class or a power walk. You probably didn't really feel it until two days later. "Delayed-onset muscle soreness means muscle fibers have been damaged, and your body needs to recover," says Dixie Stanforth, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas at Austin. But don't turn into a couch potato. "Take it easy with some light cardio — get on the elliptical machine or go for a swim," she suggests. "Low-impact exercise increases blood flow to the affected tissue, helping it recuperate. Also, pool water lowers your body temperature — almost like icing your muscles." Next time, warm up and cool down with five minutes of easy cardio, and loosen your muscles with postworkout stretches.

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the November 1, 2006, issue of Family Circle magazine.