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That soreness is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. In order for them to get stronger, you have to let them heal! So exercising them vigorously may actually hinder the process. That doesn't mean you have to sit on your butt and be inactive. Light exercise like walking or yoga can help you feel better.
Do know that the presence (or lack) of stretching has nothign to do with soreness the day after; stretching won't prevent it (it can help make it less painful, but it won't stop it) because it's caused by those aforementioned torn muscle fibers. It sounds bad, but this is how our bodies get stronger. :)
So listen to your body. It's not about making excuses, it's about increasing your risk of injury and slowing your strength-building. You want to avoid overtraining!
Soreness isn't only the result of ST. Often when we begin a cardio routine or anything our body isn't used to doing, we can feel sore. A day off won't hurt. Or some light work is fine. Expect soreness for the first week or two and anytime you begin to work muscles you haven't used in awhile (or didn't even know they were there).
If you exercise regularly (at the minimum, 3 times a week) the soreness will go away.
Do you think people going on a Wagon Train to California stopped the second day out and did nothing because they were "sore" from walking the first day? I don't think so. Our ancestors just kept going. Do some weight training today.
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