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No pain, no gain, right? Wrong! Your workouts should never be painful! While pain is never good, discomfort will happen when you are in the zone to improve your fitness. Here are some ways to alleviate that burn both during and after your workouts.

Woman Drinking Water
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts. Water is a lubricant for your muscles and joints. Being properly hydrated gives you the energy you need throughout your day. As an added bonus, drinking water will help prevent joint stiffness and soreness after your workout. (photo credit here)

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2. Start slowly and increase over time. If you are new to working out, or are starting a different, more challenging routine, start off slowly. Take a day off in between working those muscles. This will aid in muscle recovery and strength.

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3. Switch things up. Don’t feel as if you need to lift daily. Go out for a run or try that Zumba class. Even a nice long stroll around the neighborhood will benefit your body. Surprise your body and your fitness will improve without pain or suffering!

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4. A long workout is not necessarily better. Don’t think that you need to sweat continuously for an hour to get good results. Try a good HIIT workout. In 20 minutes or less, you can do an intense sweat session that will reap all the benefits of a much longer workout. Even with HIIT, start slowly and do everything at your own personal pace and build from that.

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5. Stretch! Aaahhh… a nice, long stretching session after a good workout is a great time to get more in tuned with your body. Stretch every muscle that you worked and feel stronger and leaner with every stretch. Be good to your muscles and they will be good to you!