Whether you’re doing cardio, strength training, or any other form of exercise, you’ll eventually hit the pain barrier — the point when people tend to give up and stop. The next time you’re working out, try one of these four techniques to push past the barrier.
Set Small and Manageable Goals
If you’re new to exercise or trying a new type of workout, don’t expect to be an all-star immediately. Set small, manageable goals so that when you do hit the pain barrier, you’ll know exactly how close your objective is. If you hit the wall without a clearly defined end to your workout, you’ll have a much harder time staying motivated and pushing on.
Also, consider working in some fitness goals that incorporate more than just exercise. Fitness trackers like Couch to 5K are great for striving toward a goal from scratch. You can couple this with a health tracker from Lifesum to ensure that you’re making steady progress toward your goals while providing your body the nutrition it needs to sustain an active lifestyle.
The pain that occurs naturally as you push your body and get in shape is one thing. But there are other types of pain that can cause severe damage if ignored. For example, you absolutely must drink enough water to safely exercise, and you need to understand which pains are unnatural and an indication that you should stop.
If you stop sweating or experience things like dry mouth or headaches, you’re encountering symptoms that shouldn’t occur while exercising. Stop, rehydrate, and focus on recovering so you can perform better during your next workout.
Vary Your Workouts
It’s important to vary your workouts such as targeting different muscle groups and cycling between high- and low-impact exercise. Alternating reps or distances and intensity can also help you enjoy some workouts with more manageable pain barriers.
Push Past Your Comfort Levels Gradually
Especially if you’re just starting out with a new exercise plan, you’ll experience some discomfort regardless of your intensity or how long you exercise. This is a critical time, though. If you finish your workout in immense pain or just feeling totally miserable, you’ll have a hard time getting back to the starting line again for your next session.
Focus on making exercise a bit more enjoyable. Especially if you’re just exercising to stay in shape and aren’t working toward an immediate goal, such as preparing for an upcoming race, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be fun. Pick up the intensity a little more each day or just work out for a few extra minutes at a time. As you get in better shape, you’ll find that you not only have the improved endurance needed to push through the pain barrier but also the stamina and fitness level needed to have fun, even during intense exercise.
Especially for people who are new to exercise, working through discomfort can be challenging — and not knowing how to keep chugging safely can make it hard to stay motivated. Try these tips out to push through the pain barrier naturally and make measurable progress toward your fitness goals.