So, you’re ready to start doing some strength training to promote your cognitive health. Kudos to you for getting started. Whether you’ve decided to do yoga, weights, or gym machines, there’s something you’ll need to know before you start working those muscles; you might get sore. And it’s okay.

It’s normal to experience soreness after a workout. It’s a sign that you did something new and worked your muscles. Most soreness should pass in a few days. If you notice that your soreness continues multiple days or if you experience intense discomfort, it’s a good idea to decrease the difficulty and length of your workout the next time.

It’s not unusual to feel some aches and pains when you start a workout program if you’ve been sedentary for a while. On the other hand, some people find that moving their body feels so good, they can’t go a day without working out. Research suggests that stretching before an unfamiliar exercise reduces post-exercise pain.

As a general rule of thumb, if something feels too uncomfortable, don’t do it. It’s better to be conservative and build up your exercise routine slowly than to overdo it and injure yourself. You won’t be able to work out at all with a sprained ligament from pushing yourself too far.