Working Out: Vitamin E, Muscle Soreness After Workout, and Exercise Over 50
A Decade of Fitness
If you want to get to the point, read the end of the article. If you want to understand how I got to the point, keep reading!
I try to stay fit. Since I turned 40, back in 2000, I've tried to exercise a lot, and eat right. When I got married, the eating right got harder, because Monique's such a good cook. It's hard not to go back for seconds, or thirds. So anyway, it all went pretty well for a long time. Started with bicycling. Added some weightlifting. Pushups, pullups, over the years there's been a lot of variety. Then around the 45-year-old mark, I broke my knee. Snapped backwards. I heard two loud noises like firecrackers going off, and next thing I knew, my leg wouldn't hold me. So for a few months, no exercise. When I was finally allowed, I started over. Bicycling, weights, whatever. I have a decent home gym setup in the second floor of our shed, so access was easy enough.
I'm not getting older... (yeah, right!)
But as I've gotten older (I'll be 50 in a couple of months), it's become harder to stay fit. A couple of summers ago, working out in the shed, I had a heat stroke. I've always been super-tolerant of heat, and intolerant of cold. Now, if I get too warm, I get sick. So I've had to be more careful how I work out. To make matters worse, it got so that every time I exercised, I felt great that day, but got sick the next day. Flu-like symptoms, usually bad enough to lose 2 or 3 days of work. Maybe I was trying too hard. Up till then, I'd been exercising just under 2 hours every other day, with weekends off. Did that for years, no problem. Then, boom. Can't handle it any more.
Vitamin E at Amazon
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights
So I started trying to push less. Shorter, lighter workouts. Simpler workouts. Bodyweight exercise programs. No matter how much I gave up, it didn't get any better. Friends even noticed how I got sick every time I exercised. Eventually, very depressed, I gave up. Went about 9 months without exercising. Gained too much weight, lost all the fitness I'd worked so hard for. I tried to hide how much it bothered me. But it was really pretty obvious. I spent too much time obsessing on things that had no value. Wasted a lot of my life. Wanted to sleep all during the day, too.
It's only Whining if Someone Else Is Doing It
The 'whine' list goes on and on. Until Christmas, last year. For Christmas, Monique got me a consultation with a personal trainer. She knew I'd wanted to get professional advice on my workout. I figured maybe a pro trainer would be able to design a workout that worked for me, and wouldn't make me get sick all the time. It was a great idea, but the trainer I got wasn't the trainer I needed. Nice guy, good at his specialty, but his main job was to keep people safe, and monitoring the customers at his gym. Not what I needed.
Realizing - I Make My Own Choices
Now I felt worse, because Monique had tried to get me a very meaningful gift, and it didn't turn out so well. But it was a turning point. After a few days moping about it, I realized -- Nobody but myself is responsible for my health and fitness. Hoping for someone else to solve my problems was non-productive. So I started searching for solutions again. For a while, I tried a bodyweight workout that had promise, but honestly, it bored me and I just wasn't keeping up with it very well.
So What's The Point?
I've found something that works for me. As a matter of fact, I'm keeping a very careful 3-month record of my experiences. When the time is up, I'll present my success or failure in a hub. Until then, I don't want to jinx things by talking too soon.
The problem? And, yes, finally the point of this hub? (Bet you thought I'd ramble forever!) I currently exercise 30 minutes a day. At that length of time, I get incredibly sore the next day or two. It's called Delayed Onset Muscle Stress (DOMS). There are several things you can do to reduce the pain, but the most effective one for me? Yeah, like the title says- Vitamin E. There was a study done in 2002, but I'm not going to go all medical on you. I'm boring enough without that kind of help. If you're feeling scholarly, click here.
How Much Vitamin E Do I Need?
The main result was that people who took 1,000 IU daily had less pain later (Though it's possible less is just as effective). For best results, Men's Health Magazine recommends taking it within a 30-minute window right after you've worked out. Vitamin E not only reduces physical stress, evidence suggests that it slows aging (along with proper exercise). Vitamin E seems to be a major protector from free radical damage. Again, not getting too technical, just a brief mention.
Works For Me
While research indicates great things for E, it's not been absolutely confirmed medically. It's hard to get someone to commit to a firm statement. But E has proven itself to me. Time after time. Now I take it right after working out. If I forget, I hurt. High levels of hurt, that usually last at least 2 days.
But when I take Vitamin E just after my workout, I'm better the next day. Instead of lots of pain, there's a different sense. My muscles feel tight, and full, like they should be hurting, but aren't. It's hard to describe. But compared to how I usually feel in the mornings, it's 100% better.
How Best To Absorb Vitamin E
In a Nutshell...
Well, that's it. My background, so you know where I'm coming from. A small amount of research, hopefully not enough to chase most people away. Then my personal experience. For me, Vitamin E works.