Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Myth: No Pain, No Gain

While it's absolutely true that you should push yourself and try to extend the limits of your endurance when you exercise, it's not true at all that the best workouts are the ones that leave you feeling horrible, sore, and beat up the next day. Discomfort is natural, but pain? No way. The idea that exercise should hurt is simply wrong, muscle pain during or following exercise usually suggests an injury. However, some muscle soreness is unavoidable, especially if you are new to exercise.

This myth has been debunked by doctors, physical therapists, and researchers of all stripes, but it still persists because most people conflate the idea of pushing themselves to work out harder with pain. This myth is so persistent that even the MythBusters tackled it. It's important to remember that your workouts should still be challenging, but if you're experiencing pain, you should stop. In fact, if your workouts hurt, you probably won't be as motivated to continue them, which is exactly the opposite of what your workouts should be.