I get asked this question for two different reasons but the answer is always the same: you must listen to your body and above all else do what feels right for you.
Arthritis sufferers know that even when they are tired they need to move or they will feel worse. The trick for this clientele is knowing when it is a rest day and when they should push themselves a bit to workout or to do a bit more activity. So in this case, I always tell my clients to first follow the doctor’s orders and then to listen to their heart. It would not be right for me to insist that this type of client force themselves through a workout, when they may be in a flare up that results in making the condition worse.
What I will tell you however is that through my reading and listening to recent lectures, working your muscles with weights, takes the load off of the joints that are in pain. Your muscles need to be strong if you have arthritis so that they can absorb the impact of daily living and not your joints. My clients with arthritis tell me how important it is to move every single day.
The other reason that I get asked if we should move when in pain, is when people have trained really hard and their muscles are so sore that they have trouble walking up and down the stairs or raising their arms etc. This type of discomfort can be normal up to 3 days after a hard workout. The key here is to know the difference between injury and muscle fatigue. If when you push on the pain point and it is extremely painful, red and tender you may have an injury. If your whole thigh muscle simply feels sore than you probably did too many squats or had not done any in many weeks or months and just getting back into the routine will be a bit painful. In the later case it is always better to be active and move those specific joints by taking a yoga class or by doing a lighter workout.
When we are in pain our body is giving us messages. We have to listen and do what feels right for us. I will say with the utmost confidence however that I have never had a client say to me, that they are sorry that they worked out!
It always feels better to move than to sit and feel miserable and focus on our pain. Just chose the type of activity that feels right for you at the time and get moving.
See you soon,