The truth is, however, while discomfort during exercise can indicate the level of intensity, pain doesn't necessarily mean gain. Moreover, there's a difference between good and bad pain during workouts.
What Is Good Pain?
Some muscle soreness is normal and considered “good” pain, especially if you feel soreness in areas of your body that you targeted during your workouts. This sort of discomfort indicates that your body is being challenged.
What Is Bad Pain?
Look out for pain that is sharp and localized. This sort of pain means you're hurting your body instead of helping it. Examples include a pulled muscle, or aching joints and pain that increases over time.
How Do I Know If I'm Working Out Hard Enough?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what constitutes the proper quantity and quality of exercise per week includes: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and at least two days of strength training, or even an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercise and two days of strength training.
But if you're like most people who lead busy lives and are time-challenged, even small bouts of exercise per day are beneficial. Look for ways to be active, such as walking your dog. Also, the quality of your exercise (i.e. the intensity) is vital. Make every minute count.
What Is The Proper Exercise Intensity?
Here are some simple techniques that can help you monitor your exercise intensity:
Monitoring your number of heartbeats per minute (using a wearable heart-rate monitor is helpful) you can assess and change your exercise intensity: moderate intensity is achieved when your heart rate is at 64-76% of your max heart rate, and vigorous intensity at 77-95%.
This involves asking yourself honestly how long you can remain at a certain intensity. At light intensity, you'll be able to continue the workout for a long time. Vigorous intensity should make it hard to hold a conversation while significantly increasing your rate of breathing.
This one is relatively simple. During moderate exercise you should be able to talk but not sing. During intense exercise, you should be only able to speak a few phrases before stopping to catch your breath.
At the Downtown Athletic Club of Amarillo, safety is always our first concern. Meet with one of our professional trainers how to get the most out of your workouts while avoiding injury.