October Newsletter - The Experience of Pain during Exercise: Mental Toughness

The Importance on Training Your Brain

October Newsletter - The Experience of Pain during Exercise: Mental Toughness

I thought it fitting to discuss the issue of dealing with physical pain in relation to exercise this month, as our Inspired Fitness section of the newsletter is going to challenge you to take on some PAIN!

Now don't be scared! By pain, in this context, I mean the short lived intense physical discomfort you experience as a result of challenging workouts – not pain caused by hurting yourself due to an exercise related injury. I am hoping to INSPIRE you this month to meet the physical challenge your body is going to go through during our Metabolic Resistance Training with the mental toughness of a seasoned athlete. By meeting this challenge you will not only reap the physical benefits of the exercise training, but you will also gain the valuable ability to tolerate pain like an athlete.

What does that mean and why should that matter to me? Scientists have discovered that seasoned athletes handle pain – real pain caused by true injuries or diseases – better than non jocks. What this can mean to you in the event of an accident or illness is less need or dependence on medications that can cause a wide range of side effects. You become more resilient!

Scientists believe that the signal of "pain" or intense discomfort your body receives as a result of challenging exercise is a safety mechanism designed to get you to stop the activity before your body runs out of "juice".  Note, I said BEFORE. The cool thing about knowing and understanding that the discomfort is a signal is that you can mentally train yourself to go farther, faster and longer than you ever thought by first training your body/brain regularly to "accept" and adapt to these intense periods of discomfort/signals.

The knowledge that the intense discomfort/pain is simply a warning signal that the body is under stress is very powerful. The knowledge that you are simply receiving a warning signal but are actually nowhere near the end of your energy source allows you to train yourself to push through the discomfort to reach your ever evolving goals. You can train your brain to be more mentally tough!

Ever wish you could run a marathon, ride cross country on a bike or even just participate in a race event with your kids? Want to climb a steep peak but don't think you can get to the top? Well, science tells us, train through those periods of intense discomfort and you can do anything you set your mind to!

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