For some of us, pain is a part of life. Whether we find ourselves frequently carrying injuries from playing sports, we suffer from an illness that leaves us in chronic pain, or we face a condition that affects or limbs, bones, joints or even skin, we live a life that is plagued by pain. Our bodies rarely feel quite right, and even when they do, a slight knock or fall can leave us in agony. Some people wake up in the morning overcome with aches and pains and face an uphill struggle as the day progresses.
Treatments for these pains very much depend on the root cause and our general health. The same treatments certainly won’t work for everyone. Some people, like Daniel Fung, believe that medical cannabis can be effective. Others prefer to stick to painkillers and physiotherapy. But, most people agree that some form of exercise can be helpful.
In some cases, exercising the painful joint or area is helpful. It stretches it out, increases the blood flow, boosts circulation, reduces swelling and strengthens the muscles in the area, helping them to support the body better. In other cases, the areas of pain need to be rested, but the rest of the body exercised to promote a healthy weight and prevent further injury and illness.
Whichever group you fall into, if you are living with pain it’s crucial that you consult your doctor before tackling any new exercise program. But, here is some more general advice on exercising through pain to help you.
If you struggle with pain, either short or long term, yoga can be ideal. It stretches your body, while also relaxing your mind. It helps to promote positive energies, can help you to sleep and relax, and can boost your confidence. Yoga can be as gentle or as intense as you need it to be, and you can ignore areas that hurt, and focus on what needs strengthening or stretching. Take a look at YouTube yoga videos for some ideas, or look for a local class.
Swimming is another fantastic choice when you are injured. The water provides enough resistance to give you a workout, raising your heart rate and toning your muscles. But, at the same time, it supports you. Swimming is a great full body exercise that doesn’t put too much pressure on your joints. Like yoga, it can be as gentle or intense as you want or need it to be.
Practice Short Sessions
When you are exerting through pain, you might find that you can’t stay at the gym or in the pool for as long as you’d like. You might not even manage a full Yoga session. Instead, practice short workouts and build up slowly.
Take Rest Days
You should always take rest days between workouts, but it’s even more important when your body hurts. You might want to start only exercising for 20 minutes two days a week.
Listen to Your Body
Learn to listen to your body. Pain doesn’t need to stop you exercising, but you need to understand what pain is normal for you. Listen to your body, know what to look for, and give it a break when it needs it.