All movement should make you feel great during, after and days later. You might feel that you have worked hard, but you really should not be in pain. Keeping your muscles strong is important, muscles are meant to be able to contract and release well to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Does your workout routine create pain in your body?
Certainly it is important to stay healthy and your body needs to move and exercise. You need to pump your muscles to support lymphatic drainage or in other words keep the cleaning mechanism in your body functioning well.
Movement is paramount for good health.
Our society emphasizes tight abs and lean strong muscles. Sure this is pleasing aesthetically, and it aligns with our societal expectations that lean and tight is pretty. But the fact is, tight muscles create tension and pain and prevent you from moving well and breathing well.
When your breath is restricted your nervous system will be in a constant stress response. Big muscles can limit your range of movement and prevent movement from being free and fluid. The idea that a “strong core” means tight abdominals is creating an epidemic of spinal injuries, breathing issues, and chronic tension/pain.
Very often we have clients come to us that have been doing movement practices (going to the gym) that hurt or keep them in tension or pain. Pushing too much or too hard. Lifting weights or doing movements using force instead of moving in a way that is pain and tension free.
Does your workout routine create pain in your body?
The long term prognosis for this scenario is not a good one and can sometimes result in an major interruption of your life that keeps you in pain for days, weeks or months.
Ayurveda is the study of life science in the world of yoga that guides us on how to practice self-knowledge and self care. One of the six pillars of Ayurveda is right exercise.
What does that really mean?
Right exercise refers to movement that keeps you strong and healthy while honouring the body in its current state. Put simply, any exercise that creates tension or pain in your body would not be considered right exercise. Right exercise would leave you feeling spacious, energized, vibrant and flexible. Right exercise creates intelligent core stability, balance and healthy breathing.
So what does right exercise mean for you?
How about squatting or lunging without knee or back pain, flow yoga without wrist or elbow pain, running without hip or foot pain. We aren’t telling you not to lunge or flow or run, what we are suggesting is that you do just enough. We encourage you to evaluate if what you are being told to do makes sense for your body.
Does tightening more and bracing to move make sense? Does it feel right in your body?
Does your workout routine create pain in your body? Be honest with yourself.
Move in ranges that are pain free, listen to your body and move in ways that support optimal health and fitness. We even suggest that you find ease in your movement, approach moving with less effort, allowing the movement to naturally flow through your body.
Listen to your body, it is always right.
Right exercise should also balance the needs of your nervous system, mind and emotions. Ayurveda teaches us to pay attention to when we require a slow, therapeutic form of exercise such as Tai Chi, a walk in nature or a gentle somatic movement practice. At other times we may choose to spice it up, get the blood really pumping with a run, weight workout, free form dance or flow yoga class.
Whether it is slow or fast all movement should be free and easy. Just like when you were a child running and playing with effortless ease.
Spend some time on our website. You won’t be disappointed.
Or sign up for our next Change Your Pain Group Coaching Program starting in May 2019.