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Painless Workout Advice that Keeps you Healthy

Written by Stu Watson

Advice on how exercise shouldn't hurt like hell. Here's how to successfully get in shape withoutexercis and workout that is pain free moaning and groaning.

The other day, I walked up to my wife at the gym. She looked at me and said, "I don't know what these things are for, but they hurt like hell, so I keep doing them."

 
More Advice on painless fitness
Get aerobic exercise, which burns fat, without the production of pain-causing lactic acid.
The greater the intensity of workout, the shorter the time required for benefit.
Use the "talk test." You should elevate your heart rate but be able to conduct a conversation.
Stretch to a better you
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Andrew Weil
Choosing a Trainer
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After I stopped laughing, I realized how close she had come to capturing the double-edged sword that is exercise.
 
For some people, the pain or discomfort is a sign that something good must be happening. For them, the end result is worth enduring the pain. For other people, the pain runs totally counter to their first and foremost value in life: comfort. So they stop.
 
They would rather be comfortable and out of shape than briefly uncomfortable and in shape. Notice, I said uncomfortable. Pain is not the objective. If you feel pain, something is wrong.
 
You might have injured the muscle in a prior workout. You might be hurting it at the moment, perhaps by using too much weight or overexerting yourself. The pain you feel during an exercise is your body telling you that its muscles and tendons have not yet adapted to the exertion.
 
One of the body's amazing built-in safeguards is a link between the nervous system and the muscle tendons. It's called the Golgi tendon organ, and it protects the tendon against too much force from muscle contraction.
 
It's possible, of course, to ignore this pain. Under extreme stress, in dire emergencies, with the adrenalin pumping and someone's life on the line, people have been known to push their bodies to Herculean performance.
But later, they pay for it. Weight trainers who push past the pain threshold of the Golgi run a likely risk of tearing a tendon. Quadriceps and biceps tendons are particularly vulnerable and frequent sites of overstress injuries.
 

 
Workouts Shouldn't Be a Pain
Pain during exercise is like the red line on a car's tachometer. It says you're in the danger zone and run the risk of severe injury, if you push ahead. Muscular pain after exercise, on the other hand, is probably because of other factors, such as the dealyed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
 
More on painless fitness:
Get aerobic exercise, which burns fat, without the production of pain-causing lactic acid.
The greater the intensity of workout, the shorter the time required for benefit.
Use the "talk test." You should elevate your heart rate but be able to conduct a conversation.
Choosing a Trainer
Weight lifting Advice
Prevent back pain from poor posture
What to do for back pain
 
 
The bigger problem with pain is mental. Not even dedicated weight trainers enjoy or seek out pain. Too many of them, however, have bought into the silly notion passed down by too many athletic coaches.
"No pain, no gain!" they crow.
 
I think they're nuts, and irresponsible, too. How many people have injured themselves while working out, because they thought they had to hurt themselves to make themselves healthier? It's nonsense.
 
Pushing yourself, of course, breaks out of the comfort zone. But equating that discomfort, a truly necessary element of improving one's fitness, with "pain" creates a couple of problems for athlete and would-be athlete alike.
 
First, it creates a disincentive. If you think you need to go through pain, you won't enjoy the activity, and may even quit.

Then we begin to defeat our best efforts. We can't have fun, enjoy ourselves, feel energized and aerobically alert, improve our heart function, lose weight, and revel in the grace or speed or simple physical exertion if we think it is going to "hurt like hell."

So I would like to suggest something to anyone interested in the joy of exercise: Push yourself, but don't hurt yourself.
 
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