After demanding exercise, your body may experience some muscle soreness. You may be wondering if you should let your body recover or move on through the next training. Should I exercise with sore muscles?
The answer varies, depending on how you feel and what level of physical fitness.
How exercise causes soreness
Muscles experience physical stress when we exercise. Although this stress provides several health benefits and is the key to growing stronger, soreness is the unfortunate result of new or increased activity. Why? During exercise, the fibers in the muscles stretch and experience microscopic tears, which causes soreness, stiffness, and general fatigue. The body builds these muscles during the healing process and creates increased strength.
When starting a new exercise program or exercising after a long period of inactivity, you are likely to experience delayed muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS usually appears a couple of days after engaging in strenuous or physical activity or training uncommon to your muscles. That soreness can last as much as a week. Fortunately, as your muscles experience minor wear and tear during regular exercise, this muscle soreness should subside over time.
Exercise when the muscles is sore
If you continue your regular exercise program even when you are sore, you will not give your muscles enough time to heal. Pushing yourself during an injury can eventually lead to an overload injury. Overall, you are at risk of damaging your body by not resting.
There is no need to worry for those trying to get in shape or lose weight through exercise. If you experience muscle sores, you may only need two or three days of rest. Another option is to alternate between workouts to avoid over-consumption of certain muscle groups. For example, if your upper body is sore, work out your lower body the next time you exercise. Variation will allow you to stay on track and not derail your progress.
Recovering from a hard workout
The term “active recovery” refers to moving during a rest period. It is an excellent strategy for those who need time to heal and prevent stiffness and stay healthy. If you are very sore after a hard workout, skip the weights and go for a walk instead. Or try swimming laps or taking a gentle yoga class. There are also many options for relieving soreness between periods of active recovery. Consider taking an Epsom salt bath, getting a massage, and switching between ice and heat. Finally, do not forget to eat well and get plenty of sleep.
Exercise without exaggerating
Prevention is the key to keeping yourself on a steady training regimen. The best way to do this is to listen to your body. With experience, you will find the balance between pushing yourself to become stronger and taking a step back. Only you know how hard you can train before you risk an injury.