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Fitness Myths That Hinder Your Progress: No Pain, No Gain

Everyone would like to be fit and healthy. Yet common misperceptions or myths continue to be heard and followed by those trying to adhere to a fit and healthy lifestyle. One phrase often heard and believed is “No Pain, No Gain”. This means that making progress requires that one has to suffer and experience pain. It is often said to have you stop speaking about any pain you are experiencing, to be more stoic, and to see the pain as a “badge of honor”. It is drilled into us by the fitness community and our culture.

This could not be further from the truth. Pain is the body’s alarm system. It is a highly complex and sophisticated protective mechanism. It is a message that we need to pay attention to. It may start as small as a whisper. But if we ignore it, it will typically increase over time to feel like a scream.

It is not unusual for someone to experience pain while they are working out. The first thing you should do it to stop what you are doing. We get better at what we practice and if you work out while experiencing pain, you will get better at experiencing pain. Continuing to work with pain may cause lack of dexterity, decreased performance, or create compensating patterns that can be difficult to change.

Try doing the exercise differently, perhaps making the movement slower, smaller, or attempt it in another position. Get help from an experienced professional to try variations. You can try a different type of workout, too. For instance, Pilates aims to engage the whole body in an exercise, so single areas do not do all of the work. Pilates is also easily modifiable to work with almost every body type.

If your pain is chronic or acute, there are several good doctors at Revitalize Integrated Body Systems (RIBS) who can help you find the cause of your pain and help you create a path for a pain-free life.

by Leifann Brownstein

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