We’ve all had those times where we went a bit hard on a workout or simply started again after a period of rest. Getting back on the workout wagon after taking it slow for a while can leave you excited to jump back in again, but chances are you’re going to be pretty sore the next day. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is normal, but that doesn’t make the pain you experience while climbing the stairs suck any less.
A question I frequently get is whether you should take a rest when you experience muscle soreness, or whether you should keep going. Let me break it down like this:
Reasons you need to keep going:
It sounds counterintuitive, but moving when you’re sore increases blood flow to those sore muscles which facilitate healing. So even though it’s tempting to stay horizontal on the sofa after a strong workout, go for a walk or do some yoga to shake out those legs!
When you need to call halt:
The only risk you run is if you truly injured yourself and that soreness is indicative of something more. But if it’s just general aches from a good workout, some gentle movement is a good thing. Your body will tell you if it’s the former.
Exercises that will help the soreness:
Walking, yoga, and gentle stretching are all great options. They’ll speed up the healing process and help with mobility too!
Over to you: What are your favorite exercises/stretches to do when you have sore muscles?