I exercised for the first time in a long time yesterday. This is what I did:

500 jumping jacks at moderate pace 
100 jumping jacks at fast pace 
10 min of running in place at moderate pace 
100 jumping jacks at fast pace

Today I can barely walk, my leg muscles are aching a lot. After being seated for a while if I get up to walk it is very hard. But I noticed after a while once I'm warmed up a bit I can pull it off. So I think I will be able to do the same workout I did yesterday today.

The question is should I?

I reckon my leg muscles are hurting because I tore them up with my exercise and now in order to allow them to regrow and grow bigger I should rest. But my goal at the moment is to lose weight, not so much to grow muscle. Hence all my exercises are cardio.

For someone in my situation who is looking to lose weight and lose it fast, should I be doing this sort of cardio daily? or take breaks? If I should take entire days off how many a week?

height: 5'8
weight: 185lbs
age: 23
sex: male
body type: overweight

What you are experiencing is possibly Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). While this is not generally a reason to avoid workouts, if it's so intense that your range of motion or flexibility is compromised, you should rest. However, as you noticed, DOMS usually goes away after a bit of warm-up. If you can warm-up, and recover your full range of motion, go ahead and exercise. DOMS is usually only really bad the first time you work a particular muscle group after a long break from training. So, even if you need to take a few extra days rest after your first workout, you shouldn't need to next time.

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    I would add that the type of exercise the OP is doing isn't something where you need the rest to rebuild stronger muscles such as weightlifting. It's conditioning work which is something that you can do very often. If knees start to get a different kind of pain, the OP might look into varying the type of exercises he is doing. – Berin Loritsch Jul 26 '12 at 15:31

Definitely take some time to rest, minimum one straight day between workouts, maybe more. Exercising with slightly sore muscles is fine, but your muscles should not be so sore that you can't move normally.


Increasing training frequency is the best method of lowering or erasing muscle soreness, not training when sore will only make the problem worse.

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