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What is Exercise?

Exercise is any movement that works your body at a greater intensity than your usual level of daily activity. This physical activity raises your heart rate and, when done regularly, results in better physical and mental health.

How powerful is “Exercise”?

The benefits of regular exercise are well-documented and have been studied extensively. We all know that regular exercise can help:

  • Control your weight and help you lose excess weight
  • Improve your health (blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes)
  • Improve your mood and energy levels
  • Improve the immune system
  • Promote better sleep
  • The list is endless

And one of the main reasons why this epidemic of poor health and stress-related illnesses is slowly growing is that most people are exercising less these days. Besides having more demanding and stressful lifestyles, we may also have more sedentary jobs, use cars instead of walking or cycling and prefer to have a glass of wine and watch TV after a long day’s work rather than do any physical activity.


Research shows that more than one-half of visits to the family doctor are due to stress-related illnesses and that exercise can be a very powerful tool in such cases. The more severe the condition is, then the more intense the exercise should be, the most effective being HIIT training and Insanity.

How does exercise reduce pain?

Exercise-induced hypoalgesia dampens discomfort throughout the body by the release of endorphins and endocannabinoids. The ability of exercise to dampen pain and increase our pain threshold is direct evidence that appropriately prescribed exercise acts as a natural painkiller and, therefore, can be used to help manage a large spectrum of both acute and chronic painful conditions.

What is “HIIT” training?

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This type of exercise involves periods of intense physical activity alternating with periods which are less intense. HIIT has nowadays become the most popular type of exercise to lose weight as after a HIIT workout, the body continues to burn fat.

Other advantages of HIIT training are:

  • Quick and efficient. The benefits of a few minutes of HIIT per week outweigh hours of conventional exercise
  • Produces a healthier heart, by pushing your body into the anaerobic zone and increasing VO2 max
  • Burns fat efficiently while preserving and building muscle
  • Produces growth hormone, which fights ageing
  • Improves insulin sensitivity, preventing and controlling diabetes
  • Decreases risk factors for heart disease such as cholesterol
  • Can be done anywhere and no equipment is needed

So, in a nutshell, HIIT training gives the utmost benefit that one can get out of exercise in the shortest time. A minimum of 75 minutes of HIIT training per week is recommended for optimal health.

What is “Insanity”?

Insanity is a type of exercise called Max Interval Training, the most intense HIIT training that exists. During an Insanity workout, you are are working out at your maximum capacity for intervals of 3-5 minutes and only get a short 30 second rest in between, just enough to catch your breath. Max Interval Training has been found to be the “silver bullet” of exercise as through this kind of training, you can get incredible results. This type of training is not for everyone but through The Pain Clinic’s exercise team, one can start slowly and eventually build up to this type of training in order to reap the endless benefits that come along with it.

I never exercised in my life! Can I start now?

Of course you can! The Pain Clinic’s exercise team is well-equipped to cater for people who have never exercised before and we have classes for persons of all ages and fitness levels, even for persons who have never done any form of exercise in their lives! A thorough assessment by our doctor is advisable before starting any form of exercise program. The Pain Clinic team is aware of your health and specific needs and the type of exercise prescribed will be well within your capabilities.

If you are unable to take part in any of the exercise classes that the Pain Clinic offer, our physiotherapist will give you a tailor-made program to suit your needs.