Exercise: Is It Ever Too Much
Many of us are going full throttle with our exercise routine, especially after Mardi Gras (it’s the real New Year, right?), and this is a good thing. But, is it too much of a good thing? Could be. Of course, if an exercise regimen is new to you, it’s best to take it slow, and build endurance and strength, to keep you from being sidelined.
If you are sore from your last day (or more) of exercise, should you still exercise the next day?
Good question. The answer varies. For example, if you did an upper body workout with weights and you’re sore, you could do a lower body workout and not cause any undue stress on your muscles. On the other hand, if you are intending to do the same body parts two days in a row (which you shouldn’t do anyway) and are sore, then it is best to rest.
It does depend on how sore you are, and if you feel you can tolerate another workout. Still, it should be a different type of workout. In any case, make sure you are hydrated well (one-half of your body weight in ounces daily, and additional if you are a heavy sweater), and consider some dynamic stretching after you have warmed up at your next training. This type of stretching is where you stretch through the complete range of motion, such as walking lunges or trunk twists.
If you’re fatigued and sore, and your resting heart rate hasn’t returned to normal, then it is better to take a rest day, too. A normal resting heart rate for adults is between 60-100 beats per minute. This will decrease as your heart becomes stronger through aerobic exercise. (Stronger athletes can have a resting heart rate as low as 40). You can check your resting heart rate by putting two fingers on your inside wrist and counting the beats for 15 seconds and then multiply by 4. If you do this most days of the week, you can find out what your resting heart rate is and gauge what is your average.
In the final analysis, if you have soreness, find something else to work on. Of course, there are lots of other workouts you could do. If you were sore from running or using the elliptical, try a swim or a yoga class. These low-impact activities can help relieve that delayed onset muscle soreness and get you ready for your next training session. If you are sore from a total body workout, then maybe it’s a rest day for you!
Learn more about Ochsner Fitness Center.