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Exercise Recovery is Faster with Rest

You can expect to have sore muscles and feel tired on the day after you exercise vigorously. Will you recover faster by taking the day off or by exercising at a leisurely pace?

You recover faster by taking the day off, but it will prevent you from becoming very strong. Athletes should exercise at a slow pace when their muscles are sore because it toughens their muscles. To compete, your muscles must generate great force to help you jump higher, run faster, lift heavier and throw further. This can tear muscles. If you exercise leisurely during recovery, your muscle fibers will become more resistant to injury than if you take days off. If you are an exerciser, take the day off when you muscles feel sore. If you want to compete at a high level, exercise at a very slow pace until your muscles feel fresh again.

Bonen et al: J. Applied Physiol. 58(5):1622-9, 1985

Checked 8/9/08

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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