The Benefits of Uncomfortable Exercise

There are two feelings that most people experience when they start a new exercise program. First, there’s pain. Anytime you start a new physical activity, it tends to hurt. Next, there’s excitement. If you can push through the pain, most people experience the biggest changes during the initial phase of a new exercise program. Big changes are always exciting.

As time goes on, both feelings tend to fade. The pain goes away because your body gets used to the new exercise. The excitement goes away because the big changes you experienced have slowed down.

Neither one of those things are necessarily bad. You shouldn’t feel like you are dying every time you leave the gym. That’s not healthy. Just like big jumps in your strength or big drops in your body weight aren’t going to consistently happen. That’s not normal.

Unfortunately, many of us have spent years watching shows like “The Biggest Loser” and have started to believe that a 5 or 10 pound weight loss will happen in a week. That’s crazy! The results on that show are not practical nor reproducible in any healthy way.

I also want to be clear about something. There is nothing you can do in the gym that will make up for what you do at the dinner table. Abs are made in the kitchen, NOT in the gym. With that said, I would like to share with you a simple tip that will help you get the biggest bang for your buck as you exercise.

One big reason you get better results when you start a new exercise program is that your body isn’t used to what you are doing. That’s also why you hurt so much at first. With any exercise, the more used to it your body becomes, the less beneficial the exercise is for fat loss and muscle building.

Ultimately, if you want to get the most out exercise you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Add reps. Add weight. Try a new machine. Try a new class. Don’t try to kill yourself every time out, but if it’s always easy, you are going to hit a fitness plateau.

If you think about it, exercise is a little strange. You do things that hurt frequently enough that they stop hurting. Then you change things until they start hurting again, but that’s how you get results.

Disclaimer: Not all exercise pain is good. Please discuss any concerns with your chiropractor.