No Pain, No Gain. MYTH or TRUTH?
You will have to push yourself into a zone that may be uncomfortable to really challenge yourself. You’ve heard the phrase “What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you”. That is a very true statement, in many ways, both mental and physical.
But PAIN is something different.
TRUTH: Pain is your body’s way of saying something isn’t right.
Experiencing a sharp, acute pain that occurs quickly, or if your pain lasts for a few days after exercise, could be a warning sign to stop your workout out and possibly seek medical attention. This is a different scenario than pain that gradually builds during your workout (think lactic acid burn). Pushing through your pain is a choice that may increase the severity of your injury. Even though it’s hard to be on the sidelines, think long-term in relation to your fitness journey. The last thing you want to experience is an injury that sets you back for days, weeks or even months. Even though it’s sometimes heralded as a marker of fitness, in truth, long-lasting pain and soreness for days after your workout is not a winning solution and may lead to overtraining and chronic injury.
According to the American Council on Exercise, your workout should put a reasonable demand on your cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal systems to improve function, without significantly increasing the risk of injury.
That said, if you’re doing something different, and working muscles that haven’t been used in a while, you’re going to feel it the next day or two after, and that is normal.