• Exercising When You re Already Sore

    Exercising When You re Already Sore

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    Exercising When You re Already Sore

    Exercising When You’re Already Sore Menu Verywell Fit Nutrition Weight Management Nutrition Facts Nutrition Basics Diets Meal Plans Meal Delivery Services View All News Fitness and Nutrition What to Buy How We Test Products Fitness Gear Nutrition Products Tools Recipe Nutrition Calculator Weight Loss Calorie Goal BMI Calculator Body Fat Percentage Calculator Calories Burned by Activity Daily Calories Burned Pace Calculator About Us Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Search Health and Safety Should You Exercise When You’re Sore? By Paige Waehner Paige Waehner Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the “Guide to Become a Personal Trainer”; and co-author of “The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness

    ” Learn about our editorial process Updated on April 18, 2020 Reviewed Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by nutrition and exercise professionals

    Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research

    Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates

    Learn more

    by Tara Laferrara, CPT Reviewed byTara Laferrara, CPT Tara Laferrara is a certified NASM personal trainer, yoga teacher, and fitness coach

    She also created her own online training program, the TL Method

    Learn about our Review Board Print South_agency / Getty Images Just about everyone who exercises experiences soreness at times, especially those who are new to exercise or trying a new activity

    While soreness is not a requirement for getting a good workout, it does occur

    Whether to work out again while still sore from your last session is a case-by-case decision that depends largely on the degree of discomfort

    Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the pain and keep your fitness plan on track

    Why Muscles Get Sore After Exercise Delayed-onset muscle soreness is natural when you challenge the muscles with new exercises or more intensity

    When you put new stress on the body, it adapts to handle the new load

    Part of the adaptation process includes muscle soreness due to microscopic tears in the connective tissue that support and surround the muscle

    Sore muscles are in the process of healing and growing stronger, so you should avoid stressing them even more by doing heavy, intense exercise

    However, a light workout may offer some relief as you warm the muscles to increase healing blood flow to the tissue

    Let Soreness Level Be Your Guide When it comes to exercising through the pain, it is important to determine the degree of soreness and use your own judgment

    If you are a little stiff: A light-to-moderate cardio workout can loosen stiff muscles

    A dynamic warm-up of moves like marching in place, side-steps, lunges, and arm circles, followed by light stretching, can help get the blood flowing so you are ready to work out

    If you are noticeably sore: Either take a rest day, take a walk, or try a light cardio workout and stretching

    Again, a dynamic warm-up and stretching can help bring healing blood to the muscles

    After you have warmed up, if you still feel too sore for your workout, take a rest day or keep your exercise light

    If you are very sore: If it hurts to lift your arms to brush your hair or participate in everyday activities, you need a rest day (or two or three; soreness may be even worse on the second day)

    After you rest, try light cardio or a lighter version of the original workout you did: Use lighter weights or no weight, do fewer sets, and work with less intensity overall

    How to Treat Sore Muscles Soreness may be an inevitable part of getting in shape, but over time will pass

    In the meantime, some studies suggest that yoga, light weighttraining (using no weight or very light weights) or light cardio (e

    , walking) may help reduce symptoms of DOMs

    Though studies are conflicting, there is some research showing that massage might alleviate muscle soreness

    Massage is believed to bring blood to sore muscles to promote healing

    However, massages can also leave you sore

    Be sure to drink plenty of water afterward

    Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can reduce pain and inflammation

    There are side effects, so talk to your doctor before taking any anti-inflammatories

    Some studies suggest ice baths can improve recovery from DOMs

    Whether you can tolerate sitting in a bathtub full of ice is an entirely different question

    A warm bath with Epsom salts may feel better

    After the bath, while the muscles are still warm, try some gentle stretches

    How to Avoid Muscle Soreness It’s impossible to completely avoid muscle soreness, especially if you have a goal to lose weight or change your body

    However, keep in mind that the recovery process is just as important as the workouts

    Your body heals and grows stronger during rest days

    It can’t do that if you don’t give it enough rest

    While you can’t completely avoid getting sore, there are things you can do to minimize it

    Ease into workouts

    Start slowly to allow your muscles to gradually adapt to the stress of new activities or intensities

    This is especially true if you’ve taken a long break from exercise

    Going back to the workouts you used to do may be too much for your body

    Gradually build intensity

    To get in shape, burn calories, and lose weight, you have to challenge your body with more stress than it’s used to

    And that causes soreness

    If you’re a beginner, any activity is more stress than your body is used to, so you may need to stay with the same workouts for one to two weeks before adding intensity

    Be consistent

    Once you’ve gotten sore from a specific workout or intensity, you shouldn’t experience it again until the intensity is increased

    Continuing to work out regularly will help you maintain that level of strength until you’re ready for more intensity

    3 Sources Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles

    Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy

    Boyle CA, Sayers SP, Jensen BE, Headley SA, Manos TM

    The effects of yoga training and a single bout of yoga on delayed onset muscle soreness in the lower extremity

    J Strength Cond Res




    1 Zainuddin Z, Newton M, Sacco P, Nosaka K

    Effects of massage on delayed-onset muscle soreness, swelling, and recovery of muscle function

    J Athl Train


    Bleakley C, McDonough S, Gardner E, Baxter GD, Hopkins JT, Davison GW

    Cold-water immersion (cryotherapy) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev






    Additional Reading Nosaka K, Newton M

    Repeated eccentric exercise bouts do not exacerbate muscle damage and repair

    J Strength Cond Res


    By Paige WaehnerPaige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the “Guide to Become a Personal Trainer,” and co-author of “The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness

    ” See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Related Articles 10 Questions New Runners Ask 13 Best Neck Massagers for Concerns From Relaxation to Pain Relief How to Use a Massage Gun the Right Way Weight Training Exercises and Workout Basics New to Working Out? Get Started with This 30-Day Quick-Start Guide Do Massage Guns Really Work? Strength Training: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Stronger Why Your Body Is Stiff and What You Should Do Fitness Workout Program to Try for First Time Exercisers Should You Still Work Out if You Have an Injury? How Can I Use the FIIT Principle for Effective Workouts? Why Athletes Need Rest and Recovery After Exercise A General Weight Training Program for Baseball 6 Facts About Strength Training Causes of Muscle Soreness Days After a Workout What to Do When Yoga Makes You Sore When you visit the site, Dotdash Meredith and its partners may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies

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