We have all heard it many times before – regular exercise is good for you. It can help you lose weight, reduces risks for many diseases, improves your mental wellbeing and strengthens your bones and muscles. But with exercise there may also be some physical discomfort along the way due to the stresses placed on the body.
When experiencing discomfort, it is important to understand the difference between exercise-related muscle soreness and pain. Muscle soreness is a healthy and expected result of exercise, especially if the workout was challenging and/or new to the body. Pain on the other hand may be an indication of an injury.
In order to make physical improvements, your body needs to be pushed to a level where gains can occur. They key is remaining on the safe side of this threshold and not exceeding your limits. Pain definitely is not needed in order to see gains.
So what are some key differences between muscle soreness and pain?
TYPE & LOCATION
SORENESS: Tender, tired or burning feeling. Tight or achy area/group of muscles rather than a specific spot
PAIN: Sharp, stabbing, deep pain. Swelling can occur and is more localized.
ONSET & DURATION
SORENESS: Occurs 2 to 24 hours after activity and peaks at about 36-hours. May last 1-3 days.
PAIN: Occurs during exercise or within 24-hours of activity. Lingering pain. No improvement with rest after 7-10 days.
What your pain is trying to tell you is not always clear-cut, however pain is NOT normal when:
- It begins to affect your function outside of sports, such as walking or sleeping
- It becomes constant and increases over time
- It does not improve with treatments or requires increasing amounts of pain medication
- You start to feel muscle weakness and/or numbness and tingling
If you start to experience any of the above, its likely time for a quick check-up with a medical professional. Catching an injury early can be key for a quick recovery. They can assess the damage and get your body back to functioning properly so you can continue to dominate your fitness goals.
(every 90 seconds)
B. AMRAP 17
17 Plate Snatch
17 Russian Twist (2-count)
17 Step Ups (w/ plate)