How Sore is Too Sore to Work Out?
We’ve all been sore after a workout, especially after trying out a new routine, increasing the amount of weights we lift, or running a little farther than usual. Some of us fitness buffs thrive off it – we don’t feel like we had a good workout unless we’re sore – while others hate the feeling. But what if the soreness doesn’t wear off in time for your next workout? Should you exercise through the pain or call it a day?
To help answer that question, it’s important to know a little more about muscle soreness. There’s actually two types – the soreness you feel during a workout and the soreness you feel the next day. The soreness you feel during a workout is due to a buildup of lactic acid, which is a byproduct of exercise metabolism. It usually lasts a few hours after a workout (at most) and can be relieved by stretching after a workout.
On the other hand, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the soreness you feel the day after. It’s caused by muscle damage, which is a result of exertion. No, the damage isn’t bad – your muscles need to break down so that they can recover and strengthen. This type of soreness is usually experienced by people just starting to work out or who have made a drastic change to their regimen.
If you’re still experiencing DOMS when it’s time for your next workout, it’s most likely safe to work through it – as long it doesn’t mess up your form. Also, make sure that the soreness you’re feeling isn’t a muscle strain or another sports injury. In those cases, working out will aggravate the injury, possibly sidelining you for a while. As you continue to exercise and improve your fitness status, you should notice less and less soreness. So stick with it! – Geoffrey
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