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Pain vs. pleasure with exerciseWhat perceptions can we change about how we frame discomfort and gratification?

Getting to the “other side of pain” is not easy. I was told it was a good thing I was in shape before my hip replacement surgery. I had the procedure because of osteoarthritis pain and reduced function. If I had the procedure, I believed it would allow me to walk more easily, get my leg up and over the bicycle seat, climb stairs and return to other activities I loved. Thinking about it made me feel elated: “pleasure.”

Why is it that human beings are motivated by both pain and pleasure? Pleasurable experiences represent reward and, to others, pain is something to avoid—both motivators. My self-esteem is tied to all of it. With a high level of self-esteem, anyone can attract people into their life who are positive, loving, and promoting more satisfying relationships. On the other hand, pain can peel away at your soul and create a void.

It’s impossible to avoid pain all together, whether it be physical or emotional pain. Emotional pain, like the loss of a loved one. In my case, my mom passed away last year. It still hurts and will for a long time. I celebrate her life in my own way…that gives me pleasure. With physical pain, whether it is from an illness, an accident, surgery, etc., we try to get back to “normal”. During an assessment or regular sessions, my clients are taught the correct form for moving through an exercise. I use verbal, auditory or other cues to demonstrate the moves, so they understand. Learning new skills helps develop neural pathways and can ultimately reduce one’s risk of distress and injury. It can put “pleasure” back into their life.

The government guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week of exercise. It’s a New Year. Start now by adding a new spark to your daily routine. Sit less and move more. It’s simple, just find the joy in trying. You may have to sacrifice some pain to be rewarded with pleasure.

If you want assistance with how to start, choose a trainer who is right for your personality. Be sure they are also good communicators. Gain the knowledge to motivate yourself and become more limber, improve your balance, strength and enhance recovery before or after surgery. We can help! Start by contacting us about an assessment which includes a partial session. We can then match you with a trainer to fit your needs AND personality. Our FAQ page aka Questions and Answers can be useful. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn or get some greats tips on our website at LoriMichielFitness.com. You can also email us or call us at 818-620-1442 for a consultation. All the best! – Lori

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