To go to the gym or not go to the gym, that is the question. Well, the first and MOST important thing is to assess how sore you actually are. If your muscles are sore to the touch or your daily activities such as walking, sitting, sitting on the toilet (come on, who hasn't been so sore before you could barely sit down on that thing? I know I'm not the only one!) are unable to be done because you are that sore and in pain then my advice is to REST! And not just sit your butt on the couch all day rest either, instead, do some light stretching to help blood flow reach your sore muscles and speed up the recovery process. Bananas are a super fruit for sore muscles due to their high content of potassium!
If you're sore but can still complete your daily activities I recommend two options:
1. Light stretching at home to increase blood flow to the sore muscles, plus it feels SO good after!
2. A low impact/intensity work out that you can complete WITH OUT any pain. So if the elliptical hurts, then try a bike or treadmill, if all three of those options hurt than you are just too sore and need to give your body time to recover.
Overtraining your muscles and working out while extremely sore will do more harm then good. Remember to always LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, if it is begging for rest, then by all means rest it. You would rather take a day off or go easy for a day then end up with an injury which will impede your work out routine even further! Be safe and smart in the gym!
THIS ENTRY WAS INSPIRED BY MY CONSTANT WONDERING OF THIS QUESTION
This past week, I had tried my friend's medicine ball work out routine, which during I felt like a rock star, the next day however, I felt anything but that. The 360 squats from the day before hand were wreaking havoc on my lower half. After googling my above question "Should I work out if I'm sore" I decided to take the light stretching approach and immediately felt better, my muscles were not as tight and felt much looser. I then proceeded to the gym for a LIGHT low impact cardio work out, I used the bike while reading for my grad class and then cooled it down on the treadmill. Today I woke up and am not even an ounce sore, a miracle if you ask me compared to how I was feeling yesterday. I credit my recovery to the stretching and low impact exercise, it helped get my muscles loose and blood flowing which was able to speed up the recovery process of those tiny tears!