A lot of people ask me why it hurts after they workout, and if it means they should stop. There are a few factors to look at when answering this question.
- Is it a workout/routine that you are used to, or is it something new to you? When you put your body through something that it is not used to, it is going to work your muscles in a new way. That means that more of your muscle fibers are going to break down, which means that you are going to be feeling it in the morning. Honestly, my goal is usually to make sure that I feel the workout the next day. If I don’t, I feel like I didn’t work hard enough. There is a difference between, “I had an awesome workout” pain and, “Uh oh, I did something wrong” pain. Some muscle soreness lets you know you worked hard. Severe pain, joint pain, pulls and strains let you know that you did something wrong. If you did a workout that you have done before, and you are feeling a new, intense pain pain, pay attention to it.
- Are you feeding your body what it needs to heal? You work hard to get results. Now feed your body what it needs to make all of that hard work pay off. The hour after your workout is when your body is most absorbent to nutrients. Why? Because it is CRAVING them. Give your body what it needs. Some people will tell you to just pound it with a ton of protein. WRONG! Yes, protein is crucial after a workout. You need more than that. remember, this is when your body is going absorb the most. Give it protein, carbs, healthy fats, all of the nutrients that you can. A great way to do this is with Shakeology. It is a great source of, well, just about everything. They even have some vegan friendly flavors. If you do not have Shakeology, be sure to take in quality foods. Think lean, natural, and healthy. Just like your body will absorb the good, if you feed it junk, your body will absorb that too.
- Did you stretch? This is a problem that way too many people have, including myself on occasion. You have a great workout, and what do you do? Eat and relax! WRONG! Take 5-30 minutes and stretch. I know that it can be tough sometimes, especially when you are in a time crunch. Every little bit helps. If you are sore after a workout, ask yourself if you stretched enough. Usually you will realize that you didn’t when you wake up the next morning in pain.
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So, back to the original question that we started with. Should I be sore after every workout? If you are working hard, you will probably feel it. As long as it is moderate, and is muscle pain, not joint pain, I do not think that you have anything to worry about. If you have be active for awhile, you probably know what pains are good, and which pains are bad. Pay attention to your body, feed it what it needs, stretch, and hopefully you will only be feeling good pains.