Feel the burn . . . no pain, no gain . . . The only bad workout is no workout.

Fitness junkies thrive on physical challenges. But no two bodies are exactly alike, so knowing the difference between and challenge and a breaking point can save your body from undue harm. Genetics, physical composition and injury history play a large part in just how far you should push yourself when working out.  So, how do you know when to set your ego aside? When is it time to modify a workout or throw in the towel?

“You have the phrase, ‘No pain, no gain,’ which is a cool thing to put on a T-shirt, but if you have an injury because you’ve pushed through something, you’re not going to get the progress you’re looking for,” says Eliza Nelson, ACE-certified personal trainer and orthopedic exercise specialist.

Listen to your Body                 Depending where you are in your fitness journey, you might expect some discomfort that comes with starting a hard workout. However, dizziness, heart palpitations or any sharp pains are red flags to stop doing any physical activity and take a rest.  Remove yourself from the equipment (in case you faint), grab some water, and sit down. If your symptoms are severe, don’t be afraid to ask for help. And it’s always a good practice to tell a loved one if you’re going out for a jog or bike ride alone – in case of an emergency.

Workout within Reason            I hate to break it to you, but there are no such thing as 8 Minute Abs!  The right combination of diet and exercise, consistently over time will result in weight loss, an increase in muscle mass and flexibility and endurance.  So instead of killing yourself on the treadmill to run an 8 minute mile, vary your speed and incline to your comfort level, to maximize performance.          

Ask a Professional                   Dr. Rob Fast is not only an experienced Doctor of Chiropractic, but also a Certified Sports Trainer who has worked with hundreds of athletes – and novices – to create a personalized health and fitness plan for you.  Don’t rely on an iPhone app or Pinterest page to tell you what type of workout is best. Take your fitness seriously and visit the Back Pain Clinic.