About four minutes into our Sh*t Fit Bottomed Girls Say video, we make a joke about being ridiculously sore. And it’s funny because it’s true. Wearing that exact same outfit, I have laid on my couch, completely flattened by the previous day’s workout, for hours. Or half a day. Or sometimes a full day. Which got me thinking: at what point does being sore actually impede your healthy lifestyle?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a bit of a masochistic in the gym. (This will suffice as proof.) And I like the idea of muscle soreness. I enjoy knowing that I pushed myself and my limits and that because of said muscle pushing, my body is rebuilding itself and getting stronger! And, dude, I LOVE getting stronger.
However, there comes a point when being sooo sore—like ridiculous can-barely-sit-on-the-toilet-without-wincing sore—makes you more like a slug than a human. On a normal day (even with mild soreness), I’ll do chores, walk the dog, be generally goofy and dance around, and cook/prepare healthy meals. But on ridiculous-soreness days? Well, all of that is out the window. If it’s a weekday, I don’t move much from my desk, and if it’s a weekend, I’ll veg on the couch. I’ll get up to eat, go to the bathroom (nope, no showering…but are you surprised?) and take the dog on a much, much shorter walk. But that’s about it. I pretty much do the bare minimum when it comes to movement.
If this happens every couple of weeks, I’m okay with that. But a couple times a week on a regular basis? Well, there’s no way that’s good for an overall healthy lifestyle. After all, I’d have to think the energy balance equation doesn’t work out (pardon the pun) if you go all out for 45 minutes to only spend the next 48 hours being totally sedentary and trying to order the healthiest takeout options you can because you can’t move. You know what I mean?
Obviously, for people who are just getting started with fitness, there will be more regular soreness for a few months. And, yes, there are ways to minimize muscle soreness (I love this and this), but the question still remains: How much muscle soreness is good and when can you get too much of a good thing? Like we’re always saying around here, I subscribe to the “all good things in moderation” approach, where it’s okay to be ridiculously sore every few weeks, but not much more than that. Some mild soreness once or twice a week though? I’m totally okay with that as long as it doesn’t get in the way of my usual healthy lifestyle. It’s all about balance…
Would love to hear your take on this! And do tell, how often are you sore in a typical week? And how sore do you get? Mild or ridiculous? —Jenn