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  • Mariah Heller

HEALTH does NOT have to HURT (lies we've been told)



This week on my social media platforms, I released a series of videos centered around lies we've been told (or tell ourselves) about pain and fitness. In the fitness and wellness industry, the barrier to entry is extremely low (especially in the digital age), which unfortunately results in very easy socialization of misinformation.

A good coach's goal should be to get you OUT of pain and INTO doing the things you love - AND to provide you with the tools you need to sustain that result. In order to do that, we must dispell some of the most common lies we are told about pain and fitness, and discuss what to do about these lies.


The 5 Biggest Lies You've Been Told:


1) You are not in control of your pain.

👉 in many cases, you are. Look to change your perception of your pain and take a proactive approach. Rather than dwelling on how much you hurt or how much the situation sucks, or how you can't do the things you love, take the spotlight OFF of the negative and put it ONTO action. Change your perspective to "I acknowledge this. Now, what am I going to do about it?"

2) You should stop moving.

👉 this probably comes from you.

I can't tell you how many clients I've had who sustain an injury or some life-related muscle tension and completely stop moving until it goes away. Inactivity may help minorly in the short term, but it is much more likely to make things worse in the long run.

Generally speaking, there are ALWAYS alternative exercises and modalities. Find exercises that don’t hurt you and do those things. At the same time, take daily action to facilitate healing.

3) You need to push through your pain.

👉 ...needless to say: don't do this. And ESPECIALLY don't do it at the direction of an under-qualified person.

When working with a qualified medical professional, they will have a specific and measurable threshold for "acceptable" levels of pain. A trainer who has taken a test online (which is most personal trainers) does NOT have that knowledge. Neither does your gym buddy, and neither do you.

4) Your pain is an isolated matter.

👉 always observe and treat the body as a system!

It always drives me nuts when a client comes to me and tells me that their ___ (doctor, trainer, massage therapist, etc.) refused to look at their hips or knees because "it was only their lower back that was hurting." Our bodies are incredibly smart and compensate for pain without us knowing. The likelihood of pain being caused by something else (that may not seem intuitively related) is extremely high, as is the likelihood that this pain will lead to another type of pain in the future. If you are interested in this, I HIGHLY recommend looking into Anatomy Trains by Thomas Meyers.

5) Fix it, then forget it.

👉 injury can reoccur and/or lead to future issues, and often does.

"Cool, my upper back tension/shoulder pain/tendinitis is gone, I'm just gonna go back to doing everything the way I was before I started my rehab process." Is this you? Don't be like that. Short term treatment plans are great for acute injuries, but for most of us, injury and pain prevention take DAILY action. Body awareness, dedicated stability and mobility work, unilateral work to address weaknesses, etc.. It doesn't take a lot of time (hint...less than 10 minutes per day), but it does take consistency.

Stay aware and stay proactive.


Fitness and life do not HAVE to hurt for most of us. Many times, all it takes is putting in that extra 2% effort that you are currently not prioritizing. Assess, stabilize, mobilize, THEN go do the things!


PS. Want a free eBook? Send me a message. Also - don't forget about the Quick Fix Series to help you manage your pain and work on your fitness.

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© 2018 by Mariah Heller. Pain-Free Fitness