Feeling Sore After a Workout: Should You Be Worried?

Why do you feel sore after a workout and should you rest or continue working out? Read on to find out.

Anju Mobin - Writer for Trim Down Club
By Anju Mobin
Nevena Radulović - Editor for Trim Down Club
Edited by Nevena Radulović

Updated December 13, 2022.

Woman holding her neck suggesting soreness in workout clothes

If you haven't exercised in a while, your muscles are going to feel sore after a workout. Even if you do work out regularly, trying out a new workout routine or increasing reps or intensity of the workout can also leave your muscles feeling sore.

However, this is perfectly natural and nothing to worry about. Read on to learn why this happens and whether you should rest or continue with your workout once your muscles start feeling sore.

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Why Does Your Body Hurt After a Workout?

During a workout, microscopic tears occur in the muscles and the connective tissue surrounding them. After the workout, your muscles start to ache, and the next day it may feel even worse. This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

However, each time this happens, the muscles build back stronger than before. Once the muscle gets resilient to specific exercise and intensity levels, it won't break down as easily—it will grow bigger and stronger.

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Should You Workout With Sore Muscles?

Whether you'll work out with sore muscles depends on the severity of the soreness and your other symptoms. If the pain is bearable, there are active recovery exercises you can do, such as stretching. Otherwise, you should just rest for a few days.

Low-intensity cardio may be helpful. You can do walking, swimming, easy cycling, etc. without straining yourself much. This can help your blood pumping and send more nutrition and healing to your sore muscles.

You can also do some light resistance exercises like squats or sit-ups, just make sure not to challenge the muscle group that's sore. If your lower body is sore, do arm and chest workouts, and vice versa.

How to Deal With Workout Pains

Cooling down after a workout is important to reduce muscle soreness. Stretch for 5 minutes and take a gentle walk on the treadmill or a slow spin on a stationary bike. This will gradually bring down your heart rate and clear out lactic acid from your muscles, reducing workout pains.

Bottom Line

Although it can be painful and uncomfortable, it's completely normal to feel sore after a workout.

When trying out a new type of exercise, make sure to go slow and gradually increase the intensity and frequency of the workout. This will prevent or at least reduce post-workout soreness, making achieving the desired weight loss much more bearable.

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