2 Red Flag Signs You're Too Sore To Work Out

The pros recommend taking it easy if you notice these.
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I have developed a fear of toilet seats over the last three days. Not because of any illness, mind you; it’s just that I got my arse (and legs, and arms, and core, and back) absolutely handed to me by a gym instructor earlier this week.

I’ve recently got back into the habit of working out. This time last year, I was a six-days-a-week girl; now, after a year of sloth and gluttony, I’m back jumping, lunging, and squatting my way to better mental health (allegedly).

These conditions ― going very hard on untrained muscles ― primed me for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). So it’s no wonder I wince when walking, struggle to stand up, and cannot face a crouch right now.

But how sore is too sore to work out? When should I accept that my mistreated muscles need time to heal?

There are two signs, experts say

According to the Central Orthopaedic Group, “If you can’t walk down stairs or get up from a seated position without pain, you need more time to rest.”

That’s because if you’re struggling to complete those actions, you might lose your balance when, say, doing a squat or sprinting “and fall, which will cause even further injury to your body.”

They suggest doing light cardio if you feel you must exercise, as this may “help loosen up your muscles and reduce pain” ― but if in doubt, rest.

Fitness and wellness experts at Shape agree, saying that struggling to take the stairs or get up from sitting is a surefire sign you need to take it easy for a couple of days.

They add that if you need a pain reliever to push through your workout, if your pain doesn’t get better with movement, and if your pain lasts for longer than four days, you should also take a break.

Can overtraining be dangerous?

Yes. Not to freak you out, as it’s extremely rare, but it can even be deadly.

We’ve written before at HuffPost UK about rhabdomyolysis, a condition The Cleveland Clinic describes as “a life-threatening condition that can happen after an injury or excessive exercise without rest.”

Signs of that can include dark urine, nausea, weakness, and bruising. It requires urgent medical attention.

Again, though, that’s rare. More commonly, overtraining causes Overtraining Syndrome (OTS), which can create a “depressed mood, central fatigue, and resultant neurohormonal changes,” Sports Health writes.

You can also increase your risk of injury, become fatigued, face increased infection risk, get irritable, lose your appetite, and worsen your performance, Healthline adds.

Okay, okay, I guess if I HAVE to stay on the sofa this evening, I will...