We’ve all heard the adage “no pain, no gain,” but is it really true? Unfortunately the answer is YES and NO. It just depends on the type of pain you are feeling. When you stretch and challenge your muscles by trying a new exercise class or doing something you haven’t done in a while, like yard work, you damage your muscle cells and surrounding connective tissue on a microscopic level. This damage isn’t a bad thing, though; it sets off a biochemical series of events that encourage muscle cells to repair and remodel, making them larger and stronger. We all should want strong muscles because they can do more and they help you look leaner. But there is fine line between doing something good for your body and something that you will regret later on.
I take great pride when my clients think of me the next day because their muscles are a bit sore from one of our workouts. My stomach drops when I hear an “ouch” during an exercise session. This typically means that either they are pushing too hard and will be very sore or they have done some damage. Having a client not able to come back because of an injury is my worst nightmare and I watch and listen carefully in every session to make sure this does not happen. Note for my current students/clients….I know when you are faking so don’t say “ouch” just to get out of an exercise!!!
Here are a few tips on how you can make sure that the time you spend exercising is purely for GAIN and not for PAIN:
- Start slowly. If you are starting a new routine or are new to one of my exercise classes, use lighter weights or none at all. Make sure you’ve built a strong foundation with my Build A Strong Foundation workouts
- Get good at checking in with your body during and after your workouts by asking, “Am I feeling a sharp pain or am I feeling the burn of my muscles working hard” These two are very different. Sharp pain is a warning signal that something is not right with your body; muscle burn, tiredness and soreness are signs that you are using a muscle to its full capacity.
- If you feel ANY pain in your knees, low back, shoulders, hips, wrists or joints during an exercise movement STOP IMMEDIATELY. You should NEVER work through this type of pain. These parts of the body are so complex and you do not want to do damage that might require recovery time or worse yet surgery. It does not mean you stop exercising; you just don’t do what hurts. I’ve had several clients come to me with shoulder pain. We do not stop doing shoulder exercises we just stay away from the ones that hurt. One of my clients told me that his acupuncturist is losing money because of me…since we’ve been working together his shoulder doesn’t hurt anymore! That made my heart sing.
- If you can’t walk or move one to two days after an exercise session it means you did too much. This can happen if you are just starting a new exercise routine or you just felt so great that you pushed yourself and did more than you were ready for. It takes time for your muscles to get used to what you are asking of them. Next session just work at a less intensity or drop down to a lighter weight. If you remain consistent you will get there and the after workout pain will be less and less. If you did happen to push yourself a bit too hard a light walk or stretch may help or a bath of Epson salt with a few drops of lavender works for me. I also use Deep Blue Rub from DoTerra Essential Oils – it works great on achy shoulders and backs.
- If you don’t feel a little sore after a routine that’s ok but it might be time to increase the intensity. Exercising at a higher intensity can be a bit more uncomfortable but you will reap the benefits in burning more calories and building leaner muscles. Some types of exercise will not make you sore, but that doesn’t mean you’re not making progress. Endurance exercises like running, walking and swimming (unless you walk/run through the hills of Hidden Meadows) may not be felt the next day but your muscles will still get stronger.
My bottom line message is you MUST exercise because the other age old adage “If you don’t use it, you will lose it” is VERY true.
If you’d like some help with your health or fitness journey why not schedule a FREE 30 Minute Wellness Consultation with me. I’d love to help in any way that I can. Click the book now link below and find a time that works for you
If you’re a women over 50 and you’d like to get moving and feel better you should try one of my online workouts designed just for us; low impact cardio to protect our joints, strength training because its a must as we age, Pilates because a strong core = a strong body and more.
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