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Should I Exercise If I Feel Sore?

I have a daily exercise routine of about an hour and a half because I'm trying to become more toned. If I'm sore, should I continue my routine the next day?
- Breanna*

Great question — and congratulations on getting your recommended daily amount of exercise!

It's common to feel sore after an intense workout, especially if you're trying something new. If you're sore the next day, it's probably a good idea to take it easy. Try some light exercise, like walking, while your muscles rest. Ice, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, massage, a warm bath, or gentle stretching may provide some relief.

When you resume your exercise routine, gradually increase the intensity of your workout. Also warm up before and cool down after activity.

If your workout involves weight training, it's best to rest your muscles for a day. If you want to keep doing strength training every day, vary your routine so you work your upper body one day and your lower body the next. That gives the muscles a chance to recover and rebuild before their next workout. It's fine to do aerobic exercise or stretching exercises daily.

If you feel pain during activity or if the pain is intense or does not improve after several days of rest, you might be dealing with an injury so be sure to contact your doctor.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013

Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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