I usually just do something mild to keep my muscles from stiffening up. Yoga is good for that.
Stretching a sore muscle is really important. In da bizznatch we call that soreness secondary muscle fatigue and it's caused by 2 things. The 1st is the one most people already know about, a build up of lactic acid when the body shifts from aerobic to anaerobic respiration 'cause your cardio is down. Mild stretching and exercise is great for that 'cause it increases circulation and the movement helps "pump" that lactic acid out of your muscles, decreasing soreness. The 2nd is a little less well known, and that's soreness caused by itty bitty tears in the myofibers (the strings your muscle is made up of). This is much more common in resistance training than cardio. Stretching is important because when these microscopic tears heal, they leave scar tissue which is MUCH less elastic than regular muscle tissue, but can be "taught" to be stretchy.
A good massage can help relieve the pain, too. That's where I come in! lol
My experience has been that laying around too much while taking a recovery day makes it harder to get back into my normal routine. Keep moving, do some gentle stretching, and perhaps a casual walk or some yoga. If it turns into DOMS, a warm bath and perhaps even some tylenol or other pain reliever might help.
A rest day is not a bad thing, but it's not the same thing as a "couch potato" day either.
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I haven't had a rest day since mid-May. But I gradually built up to this level, starting at 2 days a week 11 years ago.
Hi :) Yesterday I did some cardio that my body wasn't used to and today my body is tired so I believe the best thing to do is to give it a rest. My question is, do you rest completely or do you still do some kind of excersise when your muscles are tired?
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