Exploring the Debate: Is It Beneficial to Train Through Aches and Pains?

Exploring the Debate: Is It Beneficial to Train Through Aches and Pains?

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Aches, pains and injuries are common complaints among athletes and gym-goers alike. In the face of discomfort, many are left to ponder – is it beneficial to push through the pain and continue training? Exploring the facts and benefits behind working through soreness and injuries can help individuals make the right decision for their own health and fitness goals.

Examining the Pros and Cons of Training Through Soreness

A study published by the found that next-day soreness following an intense workout is common. In fact, it is the body’s response to adapt and get stronger. Post-workout soreness, or DOMS (), can last a few days and is a sign that the muscles are rebuilding, growing and gaining strength.

Training through soreness can have its advantages – maintaining consistency in the gym and being mindful of the body’s capabilities allows for progress and growth. However, training at too high an intensity, too often, can lead to , which can delay recovery and increase the risk of injury.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Training While Injured

When experiencing an injury, there is a delicate balance that must be struck. On one hand, rest is necessary to allow healing and prevent further injury, while on the other, some light can help the body recover faster while keeping muscles active and reconnecting the mind and body.

In general, there are activities that can be done to keep the body moving without overloading the injured area. This may include cross-training with low-impact machines and exercises like biking, aqua running and stairs. According to Bonnie Berkowitz, a certified personal trainer and wellness coach, when injured, the goal should be to “stay strong, but not overdo it”.

Does Pushing Through Pain Increase Performance?

Research shows that there are both positive and negative effects of pushing through pain. According to a study published in The New York Times, stretching and strengthening exercises performed while injured can help reduce , increase mobility and improve overall function.

The study also states that pushing through pain can actually worsen an injury and lead to long-term damage. It is important to recognize the difference between a healthy challenge and dangerous pain. Listening to the body and understanding the cause and effects of discomfort can prevent future injuries and promote overall health and performance.

Can Training Through Aches Speed Up the Healing Process?

When injured, continuing to move can help to speed up the healing process, as long as it is done in moderation. Keeping the muscles active can help with mobility and range of motion, while light cardio can increase blood flow and reduce stiffness.

It is important to note, however, that any exercises done while injured should not be too strenuous or intensify the pain. If the workouts cause more discomfort or lead to further injury, it is best to rest and consult with a healthcare professional.

Is It Worth the Risk to Push Through Pain?

The decision to train through aches and pain is ultimately up to the individual. When working through soreness, it is important to listen to the body and not push through any painful sensations. In the event of an injury, it is recommended to speak with a healthcare professional before continuing any exercises.

It is also important to note that rest is key for both soreness and injuries. Alternating periods of rest and exercise can help both the body and mind recover, while also improving overall strength and performance. Ultimately, it is beneficial to train through aches and pains, but not if it puts the body at risk for further harm.

Engaging in higher intensity workouts can provide physical and mental benefits, however, it is important to understand when to rest and when to push. Achieving a healthy balance between challenge and safety can help individuals reach their fitness goals while minimizing the risk of injury.

  • Berkowitz, Bonnie. “Straight Talk: Exercising with an Injury.” Medium, Medium, 27 June 2018, medium.com/@bodybybonnie/straight-talk-exercising-with-an-injury-47faf15d29ad.
  • Bishop, Jo. “5 High-Intensity Workouts That Will Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals.” Women’s Running, 28 Apr. 2021, www.womensrunning.com/training/5-high-intensity-workouts-that-will-help-you-reach-your-fitness-goals-faster.
  • Gunnar, Pete. “Training Through Soreness: What You Need to Know.” Muscle & Strength, Muscle & Strength, 31 Jan. 2021, www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/training-through-soreness-what-you-need-to-know.
  • Hitt, Jacki. “How to Exercise When You’re Hurt.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Aug. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/well/move/how-to-exercise-when-youre-hurt.html.
  • Ragus, Jennifer. “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): Causes and Treatment.” American College of Sports Medicine, 10 Aug. 2018, www.acsm.org/blog-detail/general-wellness/2018/08/10/delayed-onset-muscle-soreness-doms-causes-and-treatment.

Exploring the debate of whether it is beneficial to train through aches and pains can help athletes make the right decision for their own health and fitness goals. It is essential to recognize the difference between a healthy challenge and dangerous pain, understand the pros and cons of training through soreness and injuries and be aware of the risks. Finding the right balance between challenge and safety can go a long way in helping individuals reach their fitness goals while maintaining the health of their body.

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