I am no stranger to pain. This week, I had to accept that I was unable to fully engage in one of my private classes because of a flare up of pain. So how do we know when we should push through pain and exercise?

The answer is quite simple really: listen to your body.

If any pain is waking you up in the middle of the night than you may have an injury. If when you touch the area, you experience sharp shooting pain, you need to seek some medical attention and make sure that you have not torn a muscle or tendon. If there is swelling around the area or redness that is a good sign that an injury has occurred and you need rest to heal.

Just keep in mind that you can do a workout and only experience pain up to two days later. This is called DOMS ( Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and it can make it hard to determine what caused the discomfort in the first place. It is normal to feel sensations in the body when we are trying to improve our strength and flexibility. When you perform squats, it is normal to feel those muscles when going up or down stairs the next day or when you do bicep curls, you may feel your arms when unloading the groceries from the car.

The only time you need to worry is if the discomfort is interrupting the quality of your life. My advice in this case is to stop the exercise in question and talk to your trainer or your doctor. In most cases, I can provide an alternate exercise to achieve the same result.

Don’t suffer. Listen to your body and talk to your health care providers and fitness trainers. We are here to alleviate pain and help you to succeed.

Have a great day.