How to Listen to Your Body During Physical Activity

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Exercise-related injuries happen for a wide variety of reasons. One of the primary causes of injury is not listening to your body during physical activity. Many people don’t listen to their bodies because they believe a damaging myth about exercise. Read on to find out if you are believing this injury-promoting myth.

Is “No Pain, No Gain” True?

One of the major untruths that promotes exercise-related injuries is “no pain, no gain.” This popular belief has likely caused innumerable injuries. If you believe this, understand that pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. It can be normal to feel sore the day after a workout, but if you are in pain, something isn’t right.

“A good rule of thumb to follow is: if it hurts, don’t continue exercising! Even slight pain, sensation or swelling of a joint is an indication that the joint needs rest. If pain persists, you may want to consult a doctor,” stated a contributor to

Keeping on the lookout for pain during and after a workout is a great way to begin listening to your body and preventing injuries.

How to Listen to Your Body During Exercise

Listening to your body during physical activity can be learned by even the most non-body-conscious individual. One of the most effective ways to learn to listen to your body during exercise is to simply tune into your feelings consistently.

What are you you feeling right now? Hungry, angry, tired, lonely, happy or overwhelmed? With all the responsibilities we are saddled with each day, it can be easy to be unaware of our feelings. However, the first step to listening to your body during exercise is tuning into how you are feeling.

For the next few days, make it a point to try to identify your feelings and adapt your physical activity to your needs. For example, if you are tired, consider doing a less intense workout. If you are feeling down, a 20-minute brisk walk might help.  

Be Mindful of Your Body Sensations

Once you become more aware of your feelings, start to be mindful of your body sensations during your workouts. If a muscle or muscle group is hurting, take a mental note. If you are stiff, zone in on the stiff area and fully experience the feeling. Then, make changes to your exercise session accordingly.

Simply being aware of your feelings and body sensations on a consistent basis will train your mind to listen to your body during workouts.

Do You Know How to Listen to Your Body?

Have you ever been injured as a result of pushing yourself during exercise and not listening to your body? Do you feel you know how to listen to your body, or is this an area you need to grow in? Share your thoughts in the space below.


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