I recently read an NYTimes article about how regular exercise can actually increase your tolerance to pain. So interesting! The study has individuals ride a bike for 30 min, three times a week, and found that they not only became more fit, they also had more resistance to pain. Pain is a complex topic of conversation. Pain experience is completely personal and internal so how do we measure it? How can we understand how to push ourselves without going too far?
In the exercise world, "no pain no gain" is a pretty standard motto. I can understand this to a certain extent. In order to get stronger you have to work your muscles, you have to sweat, you have to do something you haven't done before. Where does this search for being "better" or "stronger" end (or does it)? And what does it really mean? Often what we equate with better or stronger has nothing to do with actual health or strength gained. It is equally possible to push yourself too far and get injured, especially now when the fitness trends are leaning towards faster, harder, higher intensity. What if instead of looking for more or better we look for Balance?
Finding balance in the world of your physical practice is hard and needs time. You have to learn how to calmly notice where you are, where you could be, where you are being asked to go and then take that information to guide yourself towards something new. It is difficult! My challenge to you is to find interest in your own body and investigate how it works and how it feels on a daily basis. Understand your own best practice and what goals you are truly working towards. I say this recovering from a big ol' overuse injury. I didn't realize I was pushing too hard but if I had slowed down to listen to myself, I may have realized what I was getting myself into.
Long story short, we have started a series that will be musings and links to interesting articles that discuss the topic of finding Balance between pushing yourself and being present with yourself, with interest in doing both in a healthy way. Stay tuned to #balance for more in this realm!
Here's a link to the NYTimes article! Let me know what you think!