No Gain with Pain

Exercise is necessary for good health, but it is a tendency for some to overdo it. While some people try to exercise with great intensity, adopting a ‘no pain, no gain’ mantra, this style of exercising can actually hurt your body more than it helps.

A number of studies show that moderate exercise is better than high-intensity workouts, and can actually increase lifespan. According to Dr. Margaret Fullman, cardiologist at Beth Israel Medical Center, “too much can be bad and hurt your heart, it can also hurt your joints by overdoing it.” She recommends exercising to the point where you are sweating mildly, but are not too out of breath to carry on a conversation.

High-intensity workouts for long periods of time can also worsen hypertension, cause extreme fatigue, cause injuries and prevent the healing of those injuries.

Toronto personal trailer Aly Spads emphasizes the role of a rest period in order to achieve optimal results from a workout. She advises four days of activity and three days of rest per week to her clients.

“In order to see any changes in our bodies we need to introduce a stress to make that adaptation, so exercise is a stress, a good stress, but it’s still a stress on our bodies. In order to see the change you need the rest period,” she says.

Julie Frey, coordinator of the former Adult Fitness Program at Indiana University, states that cardiovascular fitness is key. A healthy heart and circulatory system allow the muscles to use oxygen more efficiently.

She explains that during long duration high-intensity workouts, the muscles do not use oxygen as an energy source, and this type of workout is unnecessary to most people’s exercise goals.

Frey outlines that in the hypothetical case of a middle-aged woman trying to lose weight, a low-moderate to moderate routine, working up to an hour in length five to six days per week, is sufficient for achieving her weight loss goal.

Of course, a healthy diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, and free of processed foods, is paramount to weight loss. In the absence of a proper diet, even the best fitness program will not be effective.

RunningYour exercise routine does not have to be – and should not be – brutal. A brisk daily walk, an hour of swimming or riding a bike are some great examples of fun workouts that will tone your body without causing pain.

In addition,  high-intensity interval training has been found to be one of the better exercise methods, which we have written about previously. Interval training is intense, but only for a short period of time, and doesn’t need to be either brutal or painful.

Athletes and those who are training for a physical competition may require some intense workout time, however, even in these cases it is very important to know your limits, and listen to your body. Your body sends pain signals for a reason, and they are not to be ignored.

-The Alternative Daily


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