how_long_will_my_muscles_hurt_after_a_workoutYou’ve undoubtedly heard the term “feel the burn” as it applies to exercise. That burn, uncomfortable as it can be, is actually good for you. It’s the burn and recovery period after that helps you build strength and greater health, not the workout itself. In other words, if you worked out all the time, with little to no rest and recovery in between, you’d actually develop your muscles more slowly than you would if you give yourself the proper amount of recovery time.

The question then, is how much is enough time to recuperate? The answer depends on the kind of exercise you do, but in general, you want to work out until the pain in your muscles is almost, if not entirely gone, before starting again.

If you are a runner, and you run until your muscles ache, then you’ll want to give yourself a full day, which is generally how long it will take for the pain to begin to subside. Of course, there’s some variability here, depending on where you ran – grass is different from concrete, which is different from gravel or sand, and these will impact both your soreness and your recovery time to a degree.

If you’re a weight trainer, your typical recovery time will be about 48 hours between intensive workouts. Again though, there’s some variability here, depending on the muscle groups you’re focused on. Even so, 48 hours is a good rule of thumb to stick with.

The other big factor here is your age. While the specific exercises matter, your age has a lot to do with how long everything will hurt, and how long it will take for your body to recover from the exercise you’re giving it. Here, a good rule of thumb is that every five years you are past 30, add 10% to your recovery time.