One of the biggest obstacles to a full recovery is managing the thorny subject of how To Exercise With Pain. Starting an exercise routine when you’re in pain can heighten the fear of making your symptoms worse, but with a little gentle guidance, we can push through the barriers into a brighter pain-free tomorrow.

Starting an exercise routine when you’re in pain can be a daunting task. But with the right resources, guidance, and support, it can be done. Here are some tips on how to get started with exercise when you’re in pain:

Work With a Physical Therapist

A physical therapist is essential for getting started when starting the journey of how to exercise with pain. A physical therapist can help design a targeted program that focuses on improving your condition while keeping you safe and injury-free.

One of the primary benefits of working with a physical therapist is gaining a better understanding of body mechanics and range of motion. Your physical therapist will work with you to identify areas of your body that may be prone to injury or discomfort, as well as areas where you have the greatest range of motion. This information is critical when developing an exercise plan that will maximize the benefits of exercise while minimizing the risk of injury.

In addition to helping you understand your body mechanics and range of motion, a physical therapist can also help you safely push the boundaries of muscle stress to quickly and optimally stimulate muscle growth. This is essential for building muscle mass, which can help support and protect the joints and reduce pain associated with arthritis.

Your physical therapist will work with you to develop an exercise plan that is customized to your unique needs and limitations. This plan may include gentle exercises like stretching, walking, and swimming, as well as resistance training using light weights or resistance bands. Your physical therapist will also provide guidance on proper form and technique to ensure that you are performing exercises correctly and safely.

Working with a physical therapist is essential for anyone with arthritis who wants to safely engage in exercise that can improve joint health and reduce pain. By understanding your body mechanics, range of motion, and physical limitations, you can develop a customized exercise plan with the guidance of a physical therapist. This will allow you to safely push the boundaries of muscle stress while minimizing the risk of injury as you learn how to exercise with pain. Remember to always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine, particularly if you are experiencing acute or severe pain.

Pre-workout ideas on how to exercise with pain

Exercising with pain can be a daunting prospect, yet it is important for maintaining overall health and well-being. Here are some top tips to get you started and keep you motivated.

Treat yourself to Some New Gym Geartraining shoes and how to exercise with pain

One way to increase your motivation and make exercise more enjoyable is by investing in quality gym gear and training shoes. Not only will you look the part, but you’ll also feel the part too! That boost in your confidence can be hugely beneficial. As you stride out looking amazing, you will set yourself apart as an athlete (not a sick person), and the added bonus is that your new gear will help protect your joints from further discomfort and injury as you learn how To Exercise With Pain.

When buying gym gear and training shoes, look for items that are designed to provide comfort and support. Quality materials not only make exercise more comfortable, but they also allow you to move freely while providing adequate protection.

Look for breathable fabrics that wick away sweat while retaining heat, as well as shoes able to absorb shocks associated with repetitive physical activity.

In addition to buying quality gym gear and training shoes, it’s important to remember that people will treat you differently if they see you making an effort to stay active despite physical challenges.

A regular exercise routine can also have positive psychological benefits. Not only does regular physical activity release endorphins which promote feelings of happiness and reduce stress levels, but it also helps create a sense of accomplishment that boosts self-esteem as you learn how to exercise with pain.

Do a warm-up routine before you start moving!

Before beginning any exercise it is essential to warm up. Doing so will promote the increased production and flow of synovial fluid around your joints, and deliver vital blood and nutrients that reduce inflammation. Warming up before you begin exercising will help you maximize your workout for optimal results.

After your warm-up is finished, don’t forget to take a moment and catch your breath. That initial stretching and effort can often take more out of us than we think it will!

Instead of going straight into the next phase, enjoy some breakfast or an energizing snack before continuing.

Taking your time to reset and evaluate how you feel will help to ensure that your inflammation has been adequately reduced, your joints are lubricated and protected, your mood is upbeat, and your mind is prepared for what’s next.

Taking this kind of mindful approach is the best way to maximize each workout, and that is the game here!

We don’t want to leave too much on the table as we learn how to exercise with pain!

We want to leave all of our efforts in the gym because every day we don’t make progress is a day we suffer at the hands of disease

Listen to your body

Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise. If you experience sharp pain or discomfort, stop the activity and rest. Pushing through pain can increase the risk of injury and delay healing. To reach our targets and future peak performance levels, we must prioritize good recovery today over the struggle of constant niggling pains and injuries.

Exercise should be approached mindfully and with consideration for how our body responds to different activities, especially in the early days when we are learning how to exercise with pain. 

Planning your workouts in advance can help ensure that you are getting the most out of each session and that you’re not missing out on the important weak areas you always avoid or don’t enjoy working on.

Consider working different body parts on different days to help reduce the risk of overworking any one particular muscle group or joint.

There is always going to be some inflammation and discomfort to push through, especially in our most problematic areas. Push on with the pain but don’t overdo it. Overworking can impede progress and prevent you from achieving your goals.

Workout ideas on how to exercise with pain


Start slowly

Stretching, walking, and swimming are excellent ways to begin any exercise routine as we learn how to exercise with pain. These low-impact activities can help you warm up and gain strength before attempting more advanced exercises.

For my morning workout, I like to take on some really light weight exercises with high reps on the weight machine. 

I am never discouraged from any type of movement! 

The idea of the morning workout is to simply put the joints through some kind of motion to warm them up and pump the synovial fluid. 

The weight or intensity of the exercise is unimportant.

Your mindset to carry out the exercise is way more important because this can be where we can talk ourselves out of not just the exercise, but the entire rest of the day.

It is important to have our strategies set up so that we don’t do that.

Arnold Schwarzenneger encourages a 20-minute bike ride before lifting weights, and although we are not at his level yet, it is certainly something that should be our goal.

Modify your exercise routine as needed

As your body becomes stronger and more capable, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This will help prevent injury and improve overall health and fitness.

If an activity is too difficult, modify it so that it is achievable. If push-ups are painful, try wall presses instead. Doing a modified version of the same exercise will still give you beneficial results and reduce the risk of injury.

Always remember that you don’t need to do all of the work on the first day. That is not possible! 

The best approach is to view the new movement regime as an ongoing journey and part of your new normal, so enjoy the process of developing a lifestyle others will be envious of! The key takeaway is that we must take great care as we learn how to exercise with pain!

Breaking up the day to get more done

Breaking up your day into multiple small workouts can be a great way to maximize your results and learn how to exercise with pain. For example, rather than focusing on one block of exercise for an entire output, separate your exercise routines into smaller chunks that can easily be completed throughout the day.

This approach benefits those with limited time, allowing you to get more done in less time and helping you reach your goals more efficiently. Additionally, it helps to reduce the risk of overexertion by breaking up your physical activity into more manageable sets where you can focus on the form and intensity rather than worrying if you’re going to be able to complete the full workout. We tend to get more injuries and bad outcomes when we rush our work. Take your time as you learn how to exercise with pain. It isn’t a race and no one is counting how long it takes you to get well. Just showing up with the right attitude and staying safe is enough in the beginning. 

Do not be afraid to rest between sets, and make sure you always get adequate rest between workouts.

Use proper form and technique

Improper form and technique can increase the risk of injury. Your healthcare provider or a certified fitness professional can help ensure that you are using the proper form and technique during each exercise.

The benefits of using proper form whilst learning how to exercise with pain are many, including:

– Reduced risk of injury

– Improved efficiency and effectiveness of workouts

– Increased strength and flexibility

– Improved posture and balance.

Targeting weak areas with proper form is an important part of any workout plan. By taking the time to focus on specific muscle groups or joints you can help ensure that your workout is providing maximum benefit for the body parts that are really holding you back.

Remember, proper form does not come overnight. It takes time and dedication to really hone your craft. With the right attitude, focus, and practice you can achieve amazing things very quickly.

How to exercise with pain: Post-exercise strategies

Post-exercise strategies are especially important for those living with autoimmune diseases. Taking the time to cool down and stretch after each workout session can help reduce pain and inflammation while restoring the body to a calm, relaxed state

Make sure to foam roll or stretch any sore or tight muscles after a workout session, as this can help reduce inflammation, improve mobility, and strengthen fascia.

Foam rolling and strengthening fasciafoam roll for how to exercise with arthritis

Fascia is an integral tissue for proper muscle function, and developing it is essential for optimizing strength, power, and endurance.

Regularly engaging in myofascial release techniques like foam rolling or stretching can help improve the quality of your fascia

Taking time to warm up with low-intensity activities before you start training can also prepare the fascia for more intense exercise, allowing you to maximize your output and endurance capacity.

It is important to remember the role of our fascia, tendons, and connective tissues play in our condition, these incredibly important tissues can become stiff and painful when they go unused or have to continuously repair themselves whilst combating the destruction caused by inflammation.

Remember, these diseases used to be called “connective tissue diseases.”

To build the quality and strength of your fascia and tendons, you must provide them with adequate stimulation to encourage tissue growth. Your output and inputs will directly impact your results!

Your body will respond positively to every positive input you give it, but this activity must also be supported with proper connective tissue supporting nutrients and diet. The early days when you’re learning how to exercise with pain can be critical to your journey. Making sure you eat a spotless anti-inflammatory and highly antioxidant diet can really help to cut down on the damaging inflammation that prevents proper cartilage formation. 

You cannot build a wall without bricks, and the same goes for the body. While we have an amazing internal chemistry set that’s capable of performing incredible feats, our body needs the basic building blocks of cartilage in order to heal at its optimal speed and efficiency.

As you push yourself into these unfamiliar and uncomfortable areas, it’s essential to remember that the road ahead may be difficult. But don’t let this discourage you! Keep up your progress and become an expert on your own pain and what exercises cause which type of pain.

Meditation and relaxation

Remember to take time for yourself during and after exercise – meditation, mindfulness, and other relaxation techniques can help you manage stress levels. While getting enough rest between workouts is essential for recovery so is reducing the toxic load of uncontrolled stress on our gut and central nervous system.

Incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing can also help you take a step back from any discomfort and focus on yourself. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of being positive – optimism and hope will carry you through tough times as you work towards a healthier lifestyle.

Being hopeful and optimistic about the future will bring an added layer of self-care which should not be underestimated as we take the time to understand how to exercise with pain.

Even if progress is slow, every step counts towards a healthier lifestyle and a better pain-free future.

Hydration and protein intake

Be sure to refuel after your workouts with water and electrolytes to rehydrate and replenish energy stores. Eating a wholesome protein-rich snack after your workout can help restore energy and repair muscle damage.

Drinking plenty of water and electrolytes helps flush toxins from the body and delivers nutrients to cells for proper function.

Adding electrolyte supplements or drinks can replenish minerals lost during sweat. Proper hydration reduces inflammation and speeds recovery.

Consuming protein after exercise helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Aim for 20-30 grams of protein from sources like nuts, seeds, eggs, Greek yogurt, or lean meats. Protein also helps you feel full and reduces spikes in blood sugar that can increase inflammation. Enjoy your snack within an hour after exercise for the best results.

Be consistent and indulge in self-care

Restorative self-care strategies can be hugely beneficial for your success.  The times around your workout give you the perfect opportunity to nourish your body with love and attention.

Here are a few points to consider as we finish up our journey of learning how to exercise with pain.

Ice as a therapeutic tool

The frigid embrace of ice holds transformative power. When applied strategically, extreme cold temperature temperatures can stimulate healing, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.

As an inexpensive, natural remedy, ice packs and cold therapy offer a compelling alternative for relief and recovery.

By constricting blood vessels and reducing metabolic function in affected areas, ice helps control swelling and eases discomfort. At the same time, the cold inspires a rush of endorphins in the brain that elevates mood and provides a natural high.

From sports injuries to sore muscles to headaches, ice proves a versatile tool for renewal, with a time-tested place in traditional medicine, ice harnesses the restorative potential of temperature to heal and soothe.

Get a massage

Getting a massage is a great way to aid recovery from exercise or injury. During a massage, a trained therapist uses their hands, fingers, and sometimes forearms or elbows to apply pressure to the muscles and soft tissue of the body. 

This helps to relax tight areas, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation.

Some of the potential benefits of massage include:

• Reduced muscle tension and pain

• Improved flexibility and range of motion

• Better circulation which delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells

• Stress and anxiety reduction

• Promotion of relaxation and sleep

For the most effective massage, communicate with your therapist about any sore or tight areas you would like them to focus on. Talk to them about your quest to learn how to mindfully move and learn how to exercise with pain, they may have some valuable hints and tips based on your body shape and dynamics.
Drink plenty of water after a massage to flush toxins from the body. Massage 1-2 times per week can be a beneficial part of an exercise recovery or self-care routine.

Take a magnesium bath

Soaking in a warm Epsom salt or magnesium bath can help ease muscle stiffness and promote relaxation before bed.

Magnesium is an important mineral for muscle and nerve function, and absorption through the skin can help supplement levels and reduce discomfort.

Aim for 15-20 minutes in the bath 2-3 times per week.

Get adequate rest and good quality sleep

High-quality sleep is essential for exercise recovery and overall health.

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to allow your body time to heal muscle tissue, and recharge.

Lack of sleep can increase inflammation and actually inhibit strength and endurance gains from exercise. 

Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help you fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly through the night, this is where meditation comes in very handy.

Work with an accountability coach to cut pain and build strength

A professional can provide you with a program tailored to your specific needs, helping you stay motivated and make progress. They can also help identify any weak spots in your technique or form that may be contributing to the pain, so you can adjust your routine accordingly. Working with a coach can help you stay motivated, stay consistent, build your confidence, and help you make progress in the least time possible.
Check out our accountability packages here

Exercising when you’re in pain can be a challenge, but with the right resources, guidance, and support it is possible. Working with an accountability coach and taking the steps outlined above can help you get started safely so that you gain the full benefits of movement.

Be patient with yourself

It is important to remember that exercise takes time, effort, and commitment to see results. If you find yourself slipping or have a bad day, don’t be discouraged – be patient with yourself and continue on your journey to move and learn the subtleties of how to exercise with pain.

Today, we have so many new technologies, mountains of information, functional foods, herbs, supplements, and new ways of fostering healing. It is up to us to embrace these new possibilities and write new chapters in health about what is possible when the individual accepts full responsibility by embracing every healing modality available to them.

With these principles in mind, I think it is obvious that we should be working on building a lifestyle of movement and advancement that builds heroic habits in every area of our lives.

Enjoy your movement and all of the stunning places it can take you.

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