[dropcap letter="O"]nce you have hit that 8 mph speed on the treadmill, sometimes it feels as you can go on for hours. But, are exercise and pain just two sides of the same coin? I feel like I know this all too well.
This past year I've gotten into running, because it's an exercise that can be done anywhere and at no cost. And, since I've been travelling non-stop for over a year now, I knew I would need to find something to replace SoulCycle and megaformer classes. About six months ago I pushed myself a bit too hard, increasing from 3 mile runs to 7. From 7 miles to sprint drills. I was running outside as well as on the treadmill. At first it was exhilarating and therapeutic in a way. I could ease my mind, listen to EDM and run and run and run. But, then I started to feel pain. I tried to push through it, and I did. This was a big mistake. I ended up getting runners knee, which only hindered me from continuing to run for a while.
Pain as a result of exercise equipment and machine training can be daunting and shield you from the idea of exercise altogether. But by following a few easy steps to take care of your body, all that pain and agony can be reduced, if not eliminated altogether.
Here are five essential things you can do to make sure that your body is ready for the rigorous indoor workout you have planned:
Comfy clothes and a good pair of shoes can do wonders at a gym. Choose clothes that are either loose fitting or stretchy to ensure that your body can breathe and stretch. Your tired feet will never regret cotton, seamless socks. Even the color of your clothing can make a difference as lighter colored clothing will help you cool off easier in the summer heat.
If you plan to do several kinds of workouts, you will never regret investing in a good, fitting pair of cross-training shoes. Try out several kinds and see what you can break into the best. Sports stores will even help you get shoes professionally fitted.
A healthy smoothie can give you the boost of energy and nutrition needed to get through an intensive workout. Ingredients like peanut butter high in protein and healthy fats, and bananas high in potassium and vitamin B6 can also make your smoothie that much more satisfying.
Do Not Forget Food
You've got to eat well to be well. It is true that exercising right after a large meal can be difficult and lead to muscle cramps, but that does not mean you need to exercise on an empty stomach. A light meal close to two hours before your workout, can be the perfect way to ensure you have the right amount of energy to train and help your body heal itself. And a light, high-protein snack soon after your workout can help your muscles quickly recover.
Want some quick pre-workout energy? Bananas, with high potassium and sugar levels, can be the perfect recharge.
The Slow Incline
Initial enthusiasm while starting a fitness routine sometimes causes people to push too hard, too fast. Knowing your strength and your capacity for endurance can help reduce pain early on. Begin at a speed, resistance, or cross-ramp level that is comfortable. As things get easier, slowly shift up the settings. Let your body adapt and adjust to the challenge.
Start slow. It is always better to start out easy and work your way up to your goals rather than pushing above and beyond your abilities.
Studies have shown that having a coffee right before a workout might be the secret to relieving exercise fatigue
The Caffeine Effect
Now, here is something that you may or may not have heard before: Having a coffee right before a workout might be the secret to relieving exercise fatigue, studies show. Caffeine’s ability to help in the metabolism of fat may actually help in relieving cramps during exercise.
Regardless of whether you are an avid or an occasional coffee drinker, this secret might help you reach your fitness goals faster with minimal pain.
Knowing When it is Enough
Trust me, I know what it is like to be on a roll. Once you have hit that 8 mph speed on the treadmill, sometimes it feels as you can go on for hours. But do not listen to the adrenaline – listen to your body. If you experience any pain in the part of your body that you are exercising, or feel light-headed, it is your body telling you that it is time to heal.
Pushing through the pain might just the first step to developing something chronic. Do not let it get that far!