This is a collaborative post.

One of the main reasons people don’t like to engage in regular exercise, besides the time it takes, is the pain that it involves. If you’re starting from a place where you’re out of shape, the physical process of doing exercise can be extremely uncomfortable. You’re sweating through your clothes, out of breath and your muscles burn. To make matters worse, if you over-exert yourself, you can wind up feeling sick and faint. It’s not pleasant.

Two women in a gym, one teaching the other how to exercise

But, fortunately, there are ways that you can make the experience a little more pleasant, cut the pain you experience, and make it more pleasurable to reach your exercise goals. Let’s take a look at your options.

Don’t Go All Out For The First Couple Of Months

When you’re on a mission to lose weight or tone up, the temptation is to go all out in the gym. But exercising to your maximum capacity might be psychologically damaging. Sure, you can cope with doing it a couple of times, but punishing yourself while exercising trains your brain to associate physical activity with a bad experience, making it less likely that you’ll keep doing it. It’s a kind of protective measure.

The trick is to make exercise feel good while you’re doing it. You’re not on an episode of the Biggest Loser, so you can afford to take your time. You don’t need to perform a HIIT treadmill workout on day one. Wait until you’ve built up a basic level of fitness before trying anything extreme.

Eat Cumin

Pink flowers on wood chips

Pixabay

Cumin is a spice used in Moroccan food and is a primary flavour in a tagine. But did you know that it has pain-killing properties too?

Studies show that cumin has about the same pain-killing action as over-the-counter painkillers, but without any of the adverse side effects. Do you experience a lot of pain while exercising? See if eating cumin in something beforehand makes a difference.

Clean Out Your Cardiovascular System With Greens

One of the reasons green veggies are so healthy is that they can help to clear out your arteries and make them work more efficiently. When your cardiovascular system is functioning at peak levels, you should experience less panting and breathlessness and be able to enjoy the experience of exercising more.

Imagine That You Are Experiencing Less Pain

Focusing on the pain you experience may be a bad idea, at least according to a study in PLOS Biology. Researchers split people into two groups and then made them do some strenuous exercise. One group carried on exercising as usual, but the other was told to focus on reducing their sensitivity to pain – in other words, imagine that they were experiencing less pain than they actually were.

The scientists reported that people who made cognitive efforts to decrease pain sensation reduced the severity of the pain they experienced, suggesting that mind over matter is possible when it comes to exercise. The researchers argued that their results show that it is possible for people to change their perspective towards pain. Focusing on pain makes it worse than it is.

Switch Up Your Routine

Exercise can also exert psychological pain through boredom. Many people struggle with the gym or running because it is so repetitive and hard to keep up every day. The boredom aspect is one of the reasons why so many trainers and fitness experts recommend that people switch up their routines on a daily or weekly basis.

Switching up your routine comes with a host of benefits. Not only does it make the activity of exercise more interesting, but it also helps to prevent injury and build fitness faster. Avoiding repetitive movements means that you’re not stressing ligaments and tendons, in the same way, every day. And doing many different kinds of exercise stimulates muscles in new ways, making them stronger, faster. Variety is the spice of life.

If you experience discomfort or pain while exercising, you’re not alone. The pain that you feel is a kind of evolutionary response to exercise, baked into us by millions of years of natural selection. Humans didn’t always have access to the number of calories that they do today. Exercise was an energetically-costly activity, and so something that we should only do when we absolutely needed to do it.

You can get relief from body pain using products formulated to ease aching muscles and joints. In a way, they help your body recover and be ready for fitness activities. You are surely not in a race to get abs in the shortest time, but putting in your best efforts to exercise and dealing with the usual aches do the work.

You can get relief from body pain using products formulated to ease aching muscles and joints. In a way, they help your body recover and be ready for fitness activities. You are surely not in a race to get abs in the shortest time, but putting in your best efforts to exercise and dealing with the usual aches do the work.  

Unfortunately (or fortunately) we no longer live in a calorie-deprived environment, yet we still have these biological systems in place preventing physical activity. No matter what you do, it’s likely that exercise will be a challenge.

More you may enjoy

To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more check out my comprehensive Weight Loss and Exercise section.

Proven methods to make exercise seem less painful

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