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Friday, May 13, 2011

Top 10 Common Exercise Myths Countdown

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I adapted and created these myths in college. Some of them needed tweaking and I added a few additions.

Although some old fitness fictions, such as “no pain, no gain” and “spot reducing” are fading fast, plenty of popular exercise misconceptions still exist.

10) Water Fitness Programs Are Primarily for Older People or Exercisers With Injury

Research shows that water fitness programs can be highly challenging and effective for both improving fitness and losing weight. Even top athletes integrate water fitness workouts into their training. Water is also excellent for pregnancy.

9) The Health and Fitness Benefits of Mind-Body Exercise Like Tai Chi and Yoga Are Questionable

These formes of exercises have been shown to treat low-back pain and fibromyalgia. Improved flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, strength and stress management are just some of the potential results of mind-body exercises.

8) Yoga is a Completely Gentle and Safe Exercise

Yoga is an excellent source of exercise (I try to do yoga at least once each week, Jillian Michaels has a great yoga DVD, and it is hard work). Some styles are quite rigorous and demanding both physically and mentally. As with any form of exercise, qualified, careful instruction is necessary for a safe, effective workout.

7) If You Want to Lose Weight, Stay Away From Strength Training Because You Will Bulk Up

Cardiovascular exercise and strength training are both valuable for maintaining a healthy weight and for fitness. Strength training helps maintain muscle mass (which is crucial considering our muscle mass declines as we age) and decreases body fat percentage.

6) Home Workouts Are Fine, But Going to the Gym Is the Best Way to Get/Stay Fit

Some people find it easier to stick to a home-based fitness program. In spite of all the hype on trendy exercise programs and facilities, the "best" program for you is the one you will participate in consistently

5) Overweight People Are Unlikely to Benefit Much From Exercise

Studies show that obese people who participate in regular exercise programs have a lower risk of any causes of death than sedentary individuals, regardless of weight. Both men and women of all sizes and fitness levels can improve their health with modest increases in activity.

4) If You Exercise Long and Hard Enough, You Will Always Get the Results You Want

In reality, genetics plays an important role in how people respond to exercise. Studies have shown a wide variation in how different exercisers respond to the same program. Your development of strength, speed and endurance may be very different from that of other people you know. Genetics influence bone structure and fat distribution. For example, in my family, we build muscle very easily and quickly (My brothers can bulk up in no time and my sister has incredibly firm muscle tone. You could bounce a penny on her behind! As for me, I will always have a booty. The trade off is that we gain weight in our face. Nice trade off, huh? Not so much). The point is not to compare yourself with others. Please don't let this stop you from being a consistent exerciser!

3) Exercise Is One Sure Way to Lose All the Weight You Desire

Weight gain or loss is impacted by many factors, including dietary intake and genetics. All individuals will not lose the same amount of weight on the same exercise program. Although exercise alone cannot guarantee your ideal weight, regular physical activity is one of the most important factors for successful long-term weight management.

2) If You're Not Going to Work Out Hard and Often, Exercise Is a Waste of Time

This kind of thinking keeps a lot of people from maintaining or even starting an exercise program. Research continues to show that any exercise is better than none. You've got to start somewhere, and on days where intense exercise is too daunting, just being active and going for a walk is beneficial.

And now for the #1 Exercise Myth...

1) You Will Burn More Fat If You Exercise Longer At A Lower Intensity

The most important focus in exercise and weight control is not the % of exercise energy coming from fat, but the total energy cost, or how many calories are burned during the activity. The faster you walk, step or run, for example, the more calories you use per minute. However, high-intensity exercise is difficult to sustain if you are just beginning or returning to exercise, so you may not be able to exercise very long at this level. It is safer, and more practical, to start out at a lower intensity and work your way up gradually. You can burn a lot of calories in a little amount of time (20-30 minutes) at a higher intensity. And with intense exercise you continue to burn more calories after your workout! Why drag out the calorie burning? Get it done in a shorter period of time with intensity.

Hopefully this list changed your thinking (whether big or small) about exercise!

1 comment:

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