Know when to stop, rest, and take care of yourself.
Aches and pains. No one wants to have them, but from time to time we all do. And as we age, it’s inevitable that our pains will be amplified. So how do we live with daily aches and pains, and what should you do when pain interferes with your life? In a nutshell, I’m going to tell you to listen to your gut, take it easy, and seek help when you need it – but read on for more.
Never in a million years did I think that I’d find myself in so much pain at the age of 42 that it’d actually interfere with being able to workout. I’ve been a devotee of the gym life since I was 18. But in recent months, I’ve had hip pain so bad that it prevented me from even so much as walking at times.
To say that’s a troubling feeling is an understatement.
As young people, we feel invincible, and it’s only when our bodies throw us a hard curveball that we have to sit out and ponder, what do I do now?
In my case, I suffered a muscle injury during one of my first workouts shortly after having my second son. Couple that with overuse and underuse of other muscles, and my body hasn’t been the same since.
For a while, I’d have pain that would come and go, come and go – and just about the time that I’d be ready to make a doctor appointment, the pain would subside. I’d feel fine for a month, and then bam – another episode.
As women, we often see warning signs, but sometimes fail to get help, because we’re either consumed by helping others, or we think we’re going to be fine.
But I urge you to listen to your gut. We’re instinctual creatures. If you feel that something is wrong, it probably is. And the longer you let a problem go, the worse it’s going to get. Especially if you try to work out through the pain.
I let my hip pain go on far too long. What started as a nuisance some five years ago has progressed into sometimes debilitating pain – primarily because I didn’t seek help. And while I surely kick myself for this at times, I instinctually always knew that it was muscular in nature.
Recently, though, after re-injuring the same muscle, I was forced to seek help, because this is when my pain became debilitating. No 42 year old (or anyone, for that matter) should have to live with pain that sticks them on the sidelines for weeks at a time.
Hobbling is not an option for me. I’m active, and I need to be able to wear my four-inch heels for another 42 years!
So what do I want you to take away and learn from my story? A couple things, actually:
First, go easy on yourself – both mentally and physically. When pain puts you on the sidelines, treat yourself to light stretching, massages, heat, acupuncture, or anything else that makes you feel better.
Second, modify your workouts or take a break all together. Instead of hard-on-the-joints HIIT workouts, try yoga. Instead of running, walk. And if you have to take a break from the gym, remind yourself that it’ll be there ready to welcome you back when you’re whole and healed.
Lastly, seek treatment if you feel like you need it. With all the innovations in health care today, there is no reason that otherwise healthy individuals should be living in pain.
Pain is debilitating, but it doesn’t have to win. There are ways to workout and live through the pain that won’t debilitate you more. Make yourself a priority. All the people who love you in this life want you to be at your best.