Saturday, May 2, 2015

Know When to Back Off

I've seen many posters online with saying such as "No pain, no gain," and "I'd rather suffer the pain of a workout than the pain of humiliation and regret from not working out."  I've read a lot of comments along the same lines from trainers on the Internet.  Don't buy it.

Sure, if you're sore after your workout--even a couple days after--that's okay.  You've been working your muscles; some soreness can be expected.  But never, ever work out through sharp, throbbing pain.  It's not safe, it's not worth the damage it could cause, and it's just not smart.

It's difficult to stop when you're on a roll.  I get that.  You're getting into your workout, you're psyched, you're energized and feeling pretty good about yourself.  But then, it happens.  You feel something snap, feel a sharp pain run though your body.  Aw, come on!  You think maybe you'll be fine.  You just need to shake it out.  But that doesn't work.  

It's time to stop.  

I've experienced two such occasions recently: 

1)  About a month ago, I got new shoes.  I eased into wearing them, and put bandaids on areas of my feet prone to blisters whenever I wore the new shoes.  Well, that didn't seem to work this time around.  One day I took off my shoes and socks to find a big, nasty blister on the side of my left foot.  I had been planning to walk with a friend at lunchtime that week, but she suggested we postpone it because of the blister.  I was bummed.  I'd recently gotten back into walking regularly and was just starting to hit my stride again.  But I knew that I needed to back off.  I'd had a lot of health issues--some involving my feet--over the years.  I knew not to press me luck.  

2)  I'd worked my way back to walking with Leslie Sansone DVDs.  I could work out at my own pace and slowly get myself back up to speed in the comfort of home.  I could sit down when I felt like my foot needed a rest.  It worked well.  Although the blister is still healing (the doctor said it would possibly take three weeks, which is where I'm at right now.  Time to call him back, I think.), I was feeling pretty good about my progress.  And I liked that Jim joined me for the work out sessions sometimes, too.  Then yesterday I wrenched my knee--somehow.  No clue how.  Now I'll be walking along just fine and then my knee gives out.  Yow!  Not a pretty picture.  Yep, it hurts.  And it comes out of no where.  I don't know when it will happen next.  Oh, the frustration!  So, now I'm benched again for the time being, until the knee feels better.  Maybe I'll put some Icy Hot on it.  Does anyone else out there use that stuff for pain?  I'll use regular ice and heat on injuries, too, but lately I've been going to Icy Hot.  I don't like to over-use any medications, whether over-the-counter, prescription, or natural.  They all have potential side effects.  But I do tend to grab Icy Hot when I have pain that is enough to potentially keep me up at night.

Hopefully both problems will pass soon, so I can get back to my cardio workouts.  Working the muscles, raising the heart rate, and working up a sweat feel great.  It's a feeling that I don't want to go without for long.

If you experience pain, stop immediately.  The longer you work out with an injury, the worse it can get.  Take the time you need to rest and recover, and be sure to seek medical attention if the sharp pain continues or gets worse, you experience streaky redness and/or swelling in the injured area, or fever develops.

Have you worked out with an injury?  Let me know what happened as a result.  Let's talk about it. I'd love to hear from you.

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