Monday, 04 July 2011

Exercising Without Injuries

The intensity at which you exercise will determine what you get out of it. Do you want to lose body fat? If so, you need to exercise at a different intensity compared to someone who trains to build muscle / tone up.

Unlike bones and joints, muscles have a greater blood supply. Muscles can regenerate and respond quickly to the demands of exercise. The goal of all your exercise-related efforts should be to strengthen muscles (expect occasional soreness) and avoid overload of the bones and joints (likely to cause pain and injuries). Typically, exercising with weights can cause soreness, which is a dull aching pain in the muscles. This soreness generally subsides in a 2-3 days, during which your muscles get a chance to rest and emerge stronger.

On the other hand, aerobic exercises like walking, cycling, and swimming typically do not cause muscle soreness. They serve a different purpose, and are invaluable in conditioning your heart and lungs.

The Difference Between Soreness And Pain

Soreness usually occurs the day after exercise due to an overload of exertion on your muscles, and the release of stored chemicals from your muscles. This is the reason why soreness sometimes gets worse a day or two after exercise. This is a phenomenon called “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” (DOMS). It is more likely to occur if you try new exercises or exert yourself more than you should. You will feel mild discomfort and not necessarily pain which should subside with rest.

It’s important to remember that if you do the same exercise over a period of time, the level of soreness will decrease as your body adapts to it. This is why we change your exercise routine every 3 to 4 weeks to help you gain maximum benefit at all times.

On the other hand, pain after exercise tends to be sharp and localized around one area. It also tends to persist and sometimes get worse. You should never exercise ‘through the pain’ since this may cause injuries. If you experience pain during exercise, give us a call right away so we can determine the cause of your pain and help you manage it.

Your Pain Prevention Plan

Improper technique, absence of warm ups / stretching and inadequate footwear are major causes of pain and consequently injury.

When you feel pain, use the RICE method.

RICE is an acronym for:

Rest: Avoid anything that may cause an increase in pain.
Ice: Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. Do not use the ice pack for more than 10-15 minutes at a time.
Compression: A handkerchief or bandage around the injured area helps minimize swelling. It should be firm, but not too tight.
Elevation: Keeping the injured body part elevated also helps to minimize swelling.


Seek immediate diagnosis from a physician if the pain:

- Persists after 12 to 48 hours of ice and rest.
- Is sharp and limits movement.
- Is accompanied by numbness, weakness, or swelling in the joint.

Pain indicates distress to the body - listen to it and take action. A timely trip to your doctor and/or physical therapist will facilitate recovery.

Don’t let aches and pains affect your gains. Call us today to see how we can help you with a speedy recovery.