Should I exercise if my muscles are sore?
Muscle soreness is something many people experience for a couple of days after exercising, especially when the activity has been particularly intense or you’ve not been active in awhile. This ache is often referred to as Doms (delayed onset muscle soreness), and it usually lasts two till sometimes even five days. DOMS is primarily a result of small tears that occurred in the muscle fibers during exercise. You usually won't feel much, if any, pain right after your workout, but you may wake up the next morning stiff and sore. Although, it is possible to exercise other muscle groups while you are still stiff, you should never exercise a muscle group if you experience severe pain. If the pain you experience is because of sore muscles and not an acute injury, it's OK to exercise.
Being too sore to work out may be a popular excuse, but it's not always a good one. If you have sore legs from a hard and strenuous hike, spend the next day working on your abs or arms or any other body part. Don't exercise the same muscle groups that are hurting. Allowing an overworked part of your body time to rest while working on another is a great way to optimize your time and ensure that you stay on track. If you aren't following a pre-planned routine, just make sure that you're giving your muscles ample time to recover. For example, don't do a bunch of squats one day and a tough lunge workout the next. If you keep doing chest exercises every day, you're going to create imbalances, and possibly injure yourself. Break those workouts up by another day or so and you'll see improved results.
To help ease and cope with sore muscles, try soaking in a hot tub or a warm bath. Other people find relief with ice packs. Gentle stretching or massage also can relieve the pain. Warming up the muscles with stretching, gentle walking or biking can help to prevent some soreness.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
— Winston Churchill...