The Best Exercises to Do When You're In Pain
There are many reasons relating to how we feel physically that dictate if we’re up for a workout today. Maybe you experience frequent chronic pain, maybe you’re sore, or maybe your body simply doesn’t want to. It can be hard to stay in a pattern when you’re not feeling up to it, but you should still be able to work out even when you aren’t feeling well, because we all hate the feeling of skipping a day and going back on all your progress.
We tend to want to rest and relax if we aren’t feeling up to a workout, but the truth is working out may be a better remedy than rest. The more you are inactive, the more pain and fatigue you’ll feel. Try to stay moving, because exercise can help you sleep better, help your body to heal and strengthen itself, improve blood flow, reduce the need for pain meds, improve mood by way of endorphins, and reduce pain that comes from stagnation. Studies even show those that are active are able to manage their pain better than those who aren’t active.
Exercise also improves your pain threshold, meaning it takes more pain for you to feel uncomfortable. By exercising more, those small aches and pains won’t be as much of an issue for you. The deep breathing performed while exercising actually helps to relax your body, whether it is controlled, mindful breathing, or the deep breaths you take when your heart rate starts to increase. This can also help relieve pain in your muscles because it releases tension, and also helps to focus your mind on the activity rather than the discomfort. In fact, simply practicing deep breathing can help you to refocus your energy on things other than pain.
So now that we’ve explained the benefits, here are some workouts you can actually try next time you want to get that workout in but don’t feel like your body agrees:
Walking: Good news — you can do this almost anywhere! Walking is low impact, and essentially anyone can do it. You may not get enough walking in during your day so make an effort to go for a few walks throughout the day. You can also use different methods of distraction like music or audiobooks.
Swimming/Water Exercise: Impact is sometimes what keeps people from exercise because higher impact workouts can often be more painful. This is why swimming is so great for those with these concerns, there is no impact. It won’t hurt your joints from pressure of impact or resistance, and it is also a useful skill to know. Swimming is great for you because it forces you to move your body differently, and water is also mentally and physically soothing. Different temperatures may soothe pain and relax you more while performing this gentle exercise.
Yoga: The benefits of yoga are endless: improve relaxation, concentration, calmness, reduce stress, tension, etc. Most poses are gentle, and can be easily performed by many; they can also be adjusted to accommodate those who have trouble. The breathing you do during yoga can also ease pain.
Tai Chi: Anyone can do tai chi, making it an ideal form of exercise to pick up at any time. Tai chi cultivates mindfulness and reduces pain, stiffness, and fatigue. It helps to build strength, endurance, balance, refocus energy, all through simple, slow-moving, low impact moves. Tai chi can also help your mentality, while reducing the physical and psychological symptoms of chronic pain. Relaxing forms of exercise like tai chi can soothe and heal instead of push your discomfort further.
Tip: Try taking CBD daily to reduce pain. All-natural and soothing, this may be what you need to curb discomfort for good and get yourself back on the path to health.
- Shannon Kaszuba