I’m sure you have heard the phrase “no pain no gain” but is that always the case?
There is a difference between muscle soreness and pain, they are not the same thing. Muscle soreness can be expected with exercise but it should only last a day or two. It is common to be sore after an intense workout or when doing new exercises.
Soreness is typically generalized, can be widely distributed, can also feel like stiffness or fatigue, and may cause you to move slower but usually feels better with movement. Soreness will go away on its own after a few days.
Pain on the other hand is more localized, persistent, inhibits movement and is recurring and in the same place/area of the body.
Now, you may have also heard if it hurts don’t do it. So which one is true? Well, that depends.
As long as pain goes away after 10-15 minutes then it is ok and you are not hurting yourself. If it lasts longer then that you may have over done it. If it is sharp pain that you are experiencing while exercising then you should stop right away. You don’t want to push through the pain because that could cause injury or worsen an existing injury.
Our bodies were built to move so sometimes our sedentary lifestyle or not moving enough can actually cause us pain, and therefore, moving/physical activity or exercising through it can help decrease the pain. For arthritis, keep in mind that motion is lotion, and one of the best things you can do for it is keep moving. But like medication, you have to find the right dosage of movement and what movements will help the most.
Start slowly and gently and if pain decreases continue with your exercises, but if it gets worse the more or longer you exercise, listen to your body, and stop so that you are not doing more harm then good.
As we age it takes longer for our muscles to recover so it is normal to feel more fatigue or soreness whether you have been exercising your whole life or are new to it. Making sure you are eating enough protein and drinking water throughout the day can help with muscle recovery. Stretching after exercise and using heat or ice can also assist with muscle recovery. It is best to stay active and continue to move through the soreness but vary the activities and/or the muscles you are using.
Remember, if you want to get stronger and improve your balance and mobility, it is important to challenge yourself. Finding the right amount of challenge is crucial for progress so that you don’t over do it, but you also don’t want to to go too easy on yourself!
If you have questions or want guidance with safe, effective and pain free personalized exercise programs contact A to Z Personal Wellness.