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Expert Advice: ‘I’m Exercising More, But I’m So Sore. What Can I Do to Stop the Pain?’

It takes time for the body to acclimate.

When it comes to exercise, everyone agrees that the hardest part is getting started. Yet maintaining a routine can be just as hard, especially if your body is constantly sore. The first question you ought to ask yourself is, “am I eating enough protein?” The recommended daily amount for building muscle is 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram of bodyweight, which is considerably more than what most women eat in a day. However, you may be eating enough protein but still feel sore simply because your body is acclimating. To better understand how to take care of yourself on your fitness journey, check out Dr. Heather Moday’s expert advice below.

Meet our expert.

Heather Moday, MD, is director of the Moday Center in Philadelphia. She is board-certified in allergy and immunology, as well as integrative and holistic medicine. You can follow her on Instagram (@theimmunitymd), where she shares information on health topics. And to ask her a question here, send an email to

Excessive Soreness After Working Out

Q: My New Year’s goal was to exercise more, and it’s going great! But I’m so sore that it’s hard to keep it up. What can I do to stop the pain?

A: Congratulations on taking steps to reach your goal! The soreness you’re experiencing is normal, and it will go away, but it can take up to 16 weeks for your muscles to acclimate when you begin or expand an exercise routine. Fortunately, you can remedy pain without cutting back on workouts.

First, I suggest swapping one or two of your weekly workouts for tai chi, a type of gentle movement known to increase strength and improve balance. Plus, Tufts University scientists say it can reduce pain and stiffness. To find instructional videos, simply search “tai chi for beginners” on YouTube.

And to erase aches now, try soaking in a bath with Epsom salts. Magnesium from the salts is essential for flexible muscles, while the warm water improves circulation to flush out pain-triggering toxins.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for Women.

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