A big reason someone is able to go on and achieve a great result with their health and fitness goal is consistency. Three good, solid sessions per week, every week, will always trump four or five one week, two the next, three the next after that, one the following week etc. That pattern is seriously detrimental to ones result. And more often than not, someones inconsistency can be directly linked to PAIN.
We all experience pain in some way, shape or form as a result of training. After all, “No pain, no gain” right? I disagree. We need to prioritise remaining consistent in the gym. And that means we need to focus on 3 key areas to ensure we give ourselves that opportunity.
Firstly, look at your strength program. Are you working all muscle groups? Are you correcting or prioritising any muscular imbalances you may have? Muscular imbalances are a major cause of joint pain. Take the shoulder for example. A joint which should have an extremely large range of motion. When people have pain at the shoulder joint, 90% of the time it is more than likely due to muscles around the joint not being balanced. The result is a sensation of pain at the joint itself.
Always be sure to follow a well planned strength training program.
Next, we want to check our diet. Yep, certain foods can cause inflammation which can lead to joint pain. Below I will list the top offenders, ones we need to avoid or at the very least, reduce:
SUGAR – For those with joint pain, sugar is one of the biggest potential enemies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition cautions consumers that processed sugars lead to the release of inflammatory messengers.
TRANS FATS – Have been proven as a cause of systemic inflammation, which significantly increases joint pain.
GLUTEN and CASEIN – Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and the many foods made with these grains. Casein can be found in many of the whey protein products. Both have been identified as casques of joint inflammation and pain.
REFINED CARBOHYDRATES – According to Scientific American, refined carbohydrates may be a bigger cause of high rates of obesity and inflammation than fats.
DAIRY – Has been shown to contribute to joint pain. This is in large part due to the high level of Casein found in many dairy products. They are also generally rich in saturated fats, which also promote inflammation.
Lastly, we need to recover! There’s a saying that goes, “Train hard, Recover harder.” This one I love! We need to create the habit of prioritising recovery. Especially as we get older. Doing everything we can to ensure we don’t miss those training sessions is key. Some extremely effective recovery techniques id recommend getting into the habit of include box breathing immediately after training, foam rolling and massage, yoga and stretch classes. These will promote fresh, oxygenated blood being circulated throughout your body. Also, including magnesium supplementation and/or bath, will aid recovery and promote a better nights sleep.