If you are a fitness enthusiast, you know that when we are inactive for long periods of time, our body stiffens up and simply performing daily activities can bring on a certain amount of pain. Ironically, when we work out too hard at the gym we also experience a bit of muscle soreness that can be painful. If we don’t exercise at all, we can experience injuries because of weak muscles and loose joints that can lead to serious pain.

I often hear people say that they cannot take part in fitness “because it hurts their knees and/or back too much!”

The pain experience is different for everyone. Some people believe that ‘the burn’ that they experience the day after a class means that they got a great workout, whereas another person might hate it and blame the teacher for their muscle soreness. While it is normal to experience DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness), 24 to 72 hours after a workout, this pain will be enough to turn some people completely off of exercise.

This cycle of pain plays a big role in my life because I am always trying to find ways to make the class experience fun and yet challenging at the same time, knowing that if some people find it ‘painful’ they will not return. Conversely, if it appears to be too easy, others will opt out. My goal as a group fitness instructor is client retention. I want people to come back! This is why it is important that clients read the class descriptions so they get exactly what they are looking for in a workout.

I always tell my clients to inform me if they are experiencing any pain before the class so that I can offer alternative exercises based on their situation. This will help them to enjoy the class however my advice is to consult a doctor or better yet, a physiotherapist regarding any persistent pain. Chances are that exercise will be recommended and the cycle continues!

If you are one of my regular students you are probably feeling stiff and you know that when we get back to regular classes, we will experience some pain but the ‘good’ kind! The kind that says we are moving once again. It is usually completely gone by the following week when we start feeling years younger, which is our ultimate desire! The truth is if you stay consistent with a fitness routine you will start feeling better with each passing day and if you have never done formal exercise, you actually don’t know how good you could feel, so get started today!

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Beth