First of all, yes, it’s A-OK to be active when your body is feeling tired, but just keep in mind that rest is super important, as well. Your body needs recovery time so it doesn’t burn out, so the trick is to maintain a level of productive activity while still letting those overworked muscles take a much-needed rest. Remember, those tweaks and twinges (aka delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS) are the result of microscopic muscle damage, which means that sore muscles aren’t at their strongest and are more susceptible to actual, long-lasting tissue damage or tears. In turn, though, those tiny strains are also what build muscle; as the muscles recover from that small amount of damage, they heal stronger and denser.
You don’t want to push yourself too hard, but you don’t want to sit on the couch all day, either.
Use your judgment on whether or not your body is ready to get back at it, and keep in mind that the easiest way to work around sore muscles is to target specific areas during different gym sessions (you know, arm day versus leg day). If you’ve determined you’re good to go, here’s what you can do.