A key part of living the dream lifestyle you crave is feeling fit and energetic. This will allow you to explore the world, take dream vacations, feel more confident, and enjoy all the tasty food and drink you want. We often hear the saying, ‘no pain, no gain’, but trying to fight your way through pain to complete an exercise routine is always a bad idea. Let’s take a closer look:
Exercising in Pain Is Always a Bad Idea
It doesn’t matter if you’re an exercise novice or an experienced marathon runner; you should avoid exercising when you’re in any amount of pain. It’s important to realize that there is a significant difference between pain and discomfort. Exercise that is challenging you sufficiently to cause gains will likely evoke a bit of discomfort. Runners have to push through ‘the wall’, gym goers will exercise a muscle to exhaustion, and yoga stretches should feel challenging to your body. However, there’s a difference between discomfort and real pain, and it’s important to know the difference in order to be fit and healthy.
How to Tell the Difference Between Pain and Discomfort
The more you understand about your body, the quicker you will reach your fitness goals. Real pain is the body’s warning sign to stop what you’re doing, or damage could result. It tends to be a sudden burning or shooting sensation, usually felt deep within a joint or bone. Ignoring it is a recipe for long-term injury
Discomfort, on the other hand, is normal to feel when working out. It’s an indication you’re pushing your body to be better. It’s usually felt as a dull ache in the muscles. It will be a low, tolerable burn, and should not have a sudden onset. If you feel any kind of sharp sensation at the start of a workout, stop immediately. If your pain is one-sided, in a joint, or you experience limited mobility, you should also stop immediately, and not wait until the end of the workout. When in doubt, seek medical attention.
Do you have muscle imbalances?
It’s common for dedicated athletes or gym lovers to over-develop aspects of their physique. While this sounds good on paper, it can actually be detrimental to your progress. This is because you can develop overcompensation, where a strong muscle does the job of a weak muscle, joint, or ligament. This leads to extra wear-and-tear on the body. A classic example of this is anterior pelvic tilt. Luckily, if you become aware that an overdeveloped muscle group is causing bodily imbalance, there are things you can do to correct this. For an anterior pelvic tilt, as an example, this is worth trying. You may need to consult a physiotherapist or skilled trainer if you’re not sure how to tackle the matter yourself.
When it comes to exercise, it’s not just about training hard, it’s about training smart. If you learn to take care of your body, even as you reach for your fitness goals, you will soon be on the way to a happier, healthier body that will support you in achieving your dream life.