Does sport have to hurt? That’s what the experts say.

Above all, we associate sport with effort and intense tension: a light workout is often less satisfying than a power session. But does exercise really have to hurt to be effective?

Are you trying to develop a new exercise routine, have you been out for a run or been to the gym several times and feel exhausted, weak and uncomfortable every time you work out? This reduces the probability that you will actually play this sport regularly.

Because according to the New York Times, research confirms that we are better able to form an exercise routine when we feel comfortable during the activity. The feeling during sport is more decisive than the possible feeling of happiness, which is only installed after training due to the endorphins released.

This seems to suggest that we should feel our best during a workout, at least if we want to exercise regularly in the long run. But we cannot do sports without pain and discomfort.

Note: This really only applies to the kind of painful sensation that comes from physical exertion. Other types of pain during sports can also come from injuries, overuse and incorrect tension, or various diseases. In these cases, you should definitely see a doctor and stop your exercise routine for now.

Why sport can sometimes hurt

To stay vigilant in the long run, we need to choose a sport that we enjoy and feel comfortable with. But the fact that we associate sport with effort is not entirely unfounded. According to the New York Times, the exercise shouldn’t seem too easy, either. Otherwise, we quickly get bored and don’t stick to our routine either.

Psychologist Dr. Paul Bloom also tells the Times that the effort and some pain involved in exercise could serve other purposes. A hard and strenuous workout allows us to take a break from everyday life. As we physically push our limits, we can temporarily forget about worries and fears.

In addition, according to Bloom, people are not only constantly seeking well-being, but also want to engage in activities that have long-term meaning. We usually associate such significant actions with a certain degree of discomfort and overcoming. We couldn’t develop skills and abilities in this way if we didn’t also do our own from time to time. get out of your comfort zone would do.

Does physical exertion make you happy?

The fun we get from strenuous workouts also depends on our personality makeup.
The fun we get from strenuous workouts also depends on our personality makeup.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / klimkin)

How much we want to push ourselves in sports varies from person to person. On the one hand, there are people who derive their motivation for sport from the idea that regular exercise has long-term positive effects.

On the other hand, other people train because they really enjoy the hard times. According to the Times, scientist Dr. Inzlicht describes them as “cheerful workers.” According to his research, it is also possible that each person adopts the perspective of a “joyful worker”. For example, we could design our exercise routine as a kind of video game, leveling up with each workout and setting ourselves new challenges. is Dr. According to Inzlicht, it’s important to find a healthy balance so you don’t lose interest.

Conclusion: The perfect sports routine

In principle, sport can also be effective if it does not feel so strenuous. We shouldn’t always push the limits of what is physically possible with every workout. Sports scientist Stephen Seiler confirms this in the New York Times. He found that even competitive athletes complete 80 percent of their training with lighter exercises that they don’t find too strenuous. High-intensity training, on the other hand, accounts for only about 20 percent. Amateur athletes can also find their way around this division.

What you personally perceive as strenuous, particularly difficult, and fairly easy naturally depends on your individual level of training and physical requirements. When exercising, you need to be especially careful with your body and take your body’s signals seriously. So if you feel drained and out of energy during and after each training session, it may be advisable to make your workouts less intense. Also make sure to include enough regeneration phases and breaks in your routine.


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