Q & A: Should I Workout When I’m sore?

Here’s another awesome Q and A you have likely wondered yourself….

Q: Should I Workout When I’m sore?

A: Yes. 100%. It may seem counterintuitive, but not moving is about the worst idea there is when you’re sore, very sore and/or hurt.  

Why?  Because of risk. Again this might be counterintuitive, but not moving or exercising is the highest risk option by far.  Let’s take a closer look at what I mean.

The worst case scenario for exercising while sore, very sore and/or injured is that you don’t immediately make things any better.  However, in this worst case scenario you improve your health and fitness overall, you support and enhance your ability to recover, and you also strengthen your habit and routine of self-care.  This is the worst case.  

Not exercising presents the guarantee of physical decline and unintended consequences.  Our hearts are not designed to do 100% of the work of moving the blood in our bodies.  Our circulatory system needs the help of your muscular system to do it’s job well. When you are sore, very sore and/or hurt the area or areas of your body affected need resources to repair themselves.

When we are sitting or laying down (resting) the weight of our body is putting pressure on our blood vessels, and making it harder to remove waste and supply nutrients and other healing factors to the affected areas.  This is why the worst soreness you will ever have is if you do a 🦵️ leg workout and go for a 12 hour 🚗 drive, and, counterintuitively, the best remedy when you arrive at your destination is to move your sore muscles a lot… nobody wants to because it feels awful initially, however it still works even though we don’t “feel like it.”

Rest ain’t best
There is a strange cultural idea that rest is good for us, and especially good for us when we are hurt or feel bad.  This is not true at all.  For example, once upon a time when someone had a heart attack they were put on bed rest for 6 weeks because they needed to “rest” to recover.  It took many decades before doctors realized that this “rest” was worse for the heart than the initial heart attack – meaning the patients lost more cardiac output as a result of the bed rest than they did from the heart attack.

It’s possible that when we did manual labor 10+ hours a day, walked to and from work, and then had to do everything manually – wash clothes, carry water, etc. that resting as you could was helpful.  However, modern humans have the ability to do complete rest – we can completely deprive our bodies of physical stress.

When our bodies are deprived of physical stress they begin to decline in a matter of hours not months. 😮!!

Bottom line: bad luck is a part of life.  For example, maybe the lady who gave you your second shot of the Covid vaccine didn’t do any part of her job right… maybe she neglected to open the car door, or feel for any of the boney landmarks that tell her where to put the needle, and puts the needle into the major blood vessels of your upper arm which triggers massive internal bleeding and then you lose feeling in your hand and fingers, and lose all strength and coordination in your arm, and it took you an entire month of hard work to be able to even pat yourself on the back again.  The absolute worst thing I could’ve possibly done after this is nothing.  Had I rested my arm, or, worst of all, my entire body there is a very good chance I wouldn’t be writing this article right now and I definitely wouldn’t be able to pat myself on the back.

Remember, motion is lotion. Show up and do the best you can, even if that means the whole workout for your left arm is trying to pat yourself on the back.

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