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Gain Without Pain?

For years, we've heard the phrase, "No pain, no gain," with respect to exercise, but that might not be as accurate as once thought. Recent studies are indicating that when you exercise, your threshold for pain may actually be a warning, rather than a gauge of progress.

A study that appeared in the February 2004 issue of Preventive Medicine compared two groups of 30 college students who were subjected to incremental treadmill exercise tests.

Investigators measured the transition from aerobic (with oxygen) to anaerobic (without oxygen) activity. Researchers theorized that once an exerciser completes the transition to the anaerobic state, exercise becomes uncomfortable - and even painful. It is this painful or uncomfortable stage of exercise that researchers say should be a hint to "ease up."

The study authors concluded that the perceived transition to anaerobic exercise is a good indicator of nonproductive exercise, and a good monitor for regulation. In other words, when you're exercising and you start to feel uncomfortable, it may be time to stop! Talk to your chiropractor about designing a moderate exercise program suitable to your needs.


Ekkekakis P, Hall EE, Petruzzello SJ. Practical makers of the transition from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism during exercise: rationale and a case for affect-based exercise prescription. Preventive Medicine Feb. 2004;38(2), pp149-159.

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