If you want to see serious improvements in your fitness level, you have to push your body to the limit – then do it again. The processes that makes your muscles feel sore also strengthens them and being winded trains your body to better conserve oxygen. Though pushing your physical boundaries is healthly, pushing them too far can be dangerous and debilitating. The key is to know when you're overdoing it.
Dr. Christopher Kaeding, professor of orthopedics at Ohio State University and head team physician for the Buckeyes offers some insight.
Sore muscles are to be expected after a quality workout. You may also experience some joint soreness during your workout or 20-30 minutes after. Beyond that, you may want to be more cautious. "If the next morning you're having joint pain that you can attribute or associate to your workout or activity the day before, you've probably pushed it too hard," says Kaeding. Also, if the soreness is getting in the way of normal daily functioning – like going to the bathroom or putting on a shirt – you should give it some rest.
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