On Exercise: Listen To Your Body & Monitor Your Pain.
Do you exercise through pain? When do you know it is time to stop or avoid a routine? I’ve always loved to exercise and, over the years, I have tried many forms of exercise; running, dancing, step, yoga, Pilates, spin, jazz, zumba, swimming, power walking and a bunch of others. One thing I’ve never cared for and still don’t believe is that line “No pain, no gain.” Sure, there is a certain amount of pain, it should be tolerable not sharp, that comes with doing strenuous exercise, but that nonsense of burning a hole through your muscles and bearing incredible amounts of pain for the sake of getting fit is not only dangerous, it is quite frankly, stupid.
There is no reason to torture our bodies in our bid to get in shape. If you’re a triathlete or an Olympian, then you have signed on to exert yourself beyond a certain point, hopefully with the guidance of a sensible, well trained coach. The rest of us need moderate exercise with a reasonable amount of exertion that doesn’t include extreme pain. For this post, I went looking for helpful articles on the subject of exercise and pain and I’ll add them at the end of each paragraph… All are quite enlightening.
Read: Making Sense of Exercise Pain
The Pain of Gain – Health: What causes exercise pain?
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” Hippocrates
Back in the days when I had fewer cares, I danced and exercised strenuously almost daily. I participated in school sports too and enjoyed it but, over time, the strain and constant pressure of jumping up and down took its toll on my body; specifically my feet and knees. The truth is that no matter how fit you are, over time, the natural wear and tear on the body will leave you with a certain amount of chronic pain and perhaps damaged ligaments. Doubt me? Ask any athlete! I remember pushing through some of the pain and believing that a massage and some rest would heal the soreness; what is often called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. There were times it worked but not always.
So years later, as I write this post, I know the parts of my body that bore the brunt of a stubborn ego that refused to stop and assess what was wise to do when pain came calling during an exercise routine. I still exercise almost daily but I listen to my body vigilantly and monitor my exercise pain threshold. I don’t do certain types of exercises anymore, jumping up and down is for the birds, and I’ve increased my weight training routine to ensure my body stays strong. What about you and your routine? More below.
Read: That Little Voice Inside Your Twinge
Muscle Pain and Soreness After Exercise