Pain. Acute pain, chronic pain and a pain in the butt! We are all too familiar with daily aches and pains. This hurts, that hurts, I can’t take it…”Hey doc, please give me something so I can feel better.”
Well, how about this prescription – “either take one continuous aerobic walk at 70% of your heart rate reserve (HRR) for 30 minutes OR take one 30 minute interval walk (4 × 4 min at 85% HRR and 4 X 2 min at 60% HRR between cycles)”? Feel free to substitute whatever activity you like.
This advice may be coming to a Doctor near you – sooner than you think.
A recent study suggests the more we workout the greater our tolerance for pain. It’s called exercise-induced hypoalgesia. As muscles start to hurt during a strenuous bout of exercise, the body sends out endorphins and opiates to reduce the discomfort. This process takes place during the workout and can last up to 30 minutes afterward.
Researchers in Australia speculate that the brain is also adapting to the discomfort of exercise. This adaptation eventually makes us feel as if we are much tougher than we originally thought, allowing us to increase our workout levels even though the amount of pain doesn’t lessen.
Adopting the attitude that we are much tougher than we originally thought can also help us as we manage pain during non-exercise situations. As we begin to become more tolerant, we begin to lose some of our over-sensitivity to pain.
Today’s pain, just might be…tomorrow’s strength!