Keep Fit Calamities: “Feeling The Burn” Or Is Your Body Crying Out For Help?

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It’s largely accepted that, when you work out, it’s going to be uncomfortable. There’s a necessity to that, too – we have to push our bodies and what we can tolerate so we can keep improving our fitness. All we can do is try and push through, feel the burn, and hope those exercise endorphins are going to see us through the rest.
It’s an interesting phrase though, isn’t it: feel the burn. It’s posited as a good thing, something that we should all strive for. You can get to the point where it feels like if your body isn’t hurting when you work out, you’re not achieving anything.
As mentioned, there’s some truth to this – but it’s nevertheless quite a dangerous mentality to get into. Sometimes, the pain you experience while exercising isn’t there for any beneficial reason – it’s happening because your body is in trouble.
How Can You Tell The Difference?
The sad thing is that you can’t, not really. There’s no test you can run to see if you’re hurting for the “right” reasons.
All you can do is try and learn to know what your body is telling you. If it feels like you really can’t continue, yes, there’s a chance you’re just trying to get out of a workout. But you should be able to know the difference if you focus on what feels like normal pain and what feels problematic.
If Pain Is A Sign Of Work, Isn’t All Pain Good?

No. This is a dangerous attitude which, sadly, impacts many people – myself included with my hip impingement – who then go on to do themselves a terrible injury.
If you keep working out even though a part of your body is screaming for mercy, you’ve got two problems on the horizon. The first is that you could make a minor problem worse. Let’s say when lifting weights your shoulder is hurting beyond normal. You want to improve your arms, so you keep on doing it. The pain might have been from a simple muscle tweak that a day’s rest would have fixed, but because you kept working out on it, you could damage the joint to the point you require a shoulder suspension set and a lengthy lay-off from exercising at all. All just because you didn’t take a simple muscle pull seriously.
The second problem is a mental one. Exercise should hurt to an extent; granted. But if it hurts intensely, it’s not going to take long before you feel it’s doing more harm than good. You will soon begin to slip from your regime, because frankly, why would you want to put yourself through more excessive pain? There are very few activities that many of us continue to do if they hurt us!

Is Rest Inevitable?

It’s understandable that someone with a fitness regime doesn’t like the idea of dropping it, and will thus put up with pain to sustain it. However, just because you have an injury in one area of your body doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising entirely while it heals. You can just take it seriously enough to know to give it a break, changing your workout to focus on other body areas that are more capable of taking the strain.

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