Health Care Professionals

“No Pain, No Gain” - Not a Proper Approach


Pain Is Not “Normal”

The story is more common than you might think. This particular case may have resulted in a hamstring issue, but I have seen people who have walked with stress fractures, not realizing anything was wrong. The thinking is that it will get better over time or it is normal to feel pain when you exercise. No. It is not. Not if you want to keep exercising and enjoy it!

It is normal, however, to feel iscomfort the first few days. The level and duration of the discomfort depends on how long you have been inactive as well as the activity itself.  Discomfort is what you feel when your body is changing as a result of your efforts. You may feel tired and sore, but you can still make it to work the next day. Pain, on the other hand, is a direct warning from your body to stop.  Tip: discomfort may make you breathe heavily; pain will take your breath away!

Recognizing that the cramping in your calves always happens mid-run is a clue from within. What could your body be trying to tell you? Even if you are not new to exercise, my advice would be: Don’t underestimate the value of rest, and practice patience. Leave the harder training for when you are more “seasoned” or building up to an event such as a 5k or a marathon. If you are new to exercise, seek out a personal trainer or a friend who knows how to work out with proper form and technique. Knowing how to use the equipment in the gym and progressing sensibly will also help prevent injury and allow you to get the most from your workout, as will wearing the right gear and properly sized footwear.

Remember, maintaining your motivation to stay active is challenging enough. Being able to listen to and heed the signals your body is sending you while you are exercising will help you prevent injuries that can sabotage your efforts. Keep moving!

-- Erica L Thorneburg, Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist, NC00183

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