How To Tell If You're Too Sore To Work Out

Feeling sore and achy after a workout is quite common and can often feel very validating. That's because soreness is often seen as an indicator of a successful workout. However, it's important to remember not to push yourself too hard. If you're still feeling the burn after a new or intense workout session, you might want to skip a day to give your body ample time to rest up and recover (via Well+Good).

Generally speaking, you should give yourself at least one day of rest per week. However, this doesn't mean that you necessarily need to remain completely immobile. "If you can't get yourself to fully 'rest' for a day, then at least make your recovery active," Charlee Atkins, the founder of Le Sweat, told Well+Good. Some common active recovery exercises include swimming, taking a walk, playing a leisurely game of tennis, and riding a bike. But how exactly can you tell if you're too sore to work out?

Listen to your body

Believe it or not, the most important thing you can do is listen to your body. While it's perfectly fine to work out while experiencing mild to moderate soreness, there is such a thing as being too sore to work out. If you find yourself reaching for pain relievers, you should absolutely give yourself a day or two of rest. According to experts at Shape, another way to know if you're too sore to work out is if you're having a hard time standing up, sitting down, or getting out of bed in the morning.

Your muscles need to be able to function properly in order to have a safe and effective workout. If you find it too difficult or too painful to use the stairs, or you still feel very stiff and sore even after you start walking around, this is a sign that your body is telling you to slow down and give yourself a break. If your limbs are swollen or you are still sore after three or four days, you should give yourself time to rest and recover. Swollen limbs are a sign of injury, and if they are accompanied by dark urine, then you should see your doctor, warns Shape. Experiencing too much soreness after several days have passed may also warrant a doctor's visit. You should also head to the doctor if you lose motion in a joint, notes Well+Good.