6 Myths of Exercise Exposed

“Spot reducing” and “no pain, no gain”  are two common exercise myths, these seem to be fading. But there are many myths about getting or staying healthy and fit. More than half of American women do not regularly exercise. I suspect at least one of these myths or the  6 below play a role in that fact.

“Exercise requires advanced planning.” Well that does make it more likely that exercise will become a staple in your routine. A spur of the moment 5 minute bust a move break, or walking during your work breaks also count as exercise. Try these and see if you notice a boost of energy and a clearing of your mind during the grind of the day.

“I can eat anything I want, I am exercising.” Nope sorry, not true and boy I sure wish it was.  World class athletes and those wonderfully fit folks you see in the park, at the dance studio, and at the gym, well to maximize the benefits of their exercise and training routines they need to eat well. By well I mean healthy food and reasonable portions. The amount of calories matter, as does the source of calories. Regular physical activity is one of the most important factors for successful long-term weight management. I am living proof of this.

“The Best workouts happen in the gym.” Research has shown that different types of exercise routines work for different personality types. Some people find it easier to stick to a home-based fitness program, others are inspired to keep training for charity runs with a group.  The “best” workout for you is the one you will stick with over time and consistently.

“Work out hard and often or you waste time.”  Now this is one line of thinking that keep may people from starting an exercise routine or maintaining one. There is a growing body of research that any exercise is better than none. One hour a week of Regular walking or gardening has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.   A recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association showed that women lost weight if they walked for as little as 2.5 – 5 hours a week, at a moderate or brisk pace.

“Weights or other strength training makes you bulky.” No, we’ll build more muscle density, and since pound for pound muscle takes up less space than fat you’ll look more trim.  Unless of course you embark on a serious body-builders routine which then the may be to bulk up. The fitness experts I know recommend strength training  2-3 times a week. That might be the missing key to dropping a size over time if you are already doing other exercise.

“Weight loss has more benefits than exercise.” Overweight or even obese people who exercise regularly lie longer than slimmer sedentary folks. Obviously maintaining an ideal body weight is important for many health reasons, including decreasing stress on your joints. If you are very over weight, have never exercised or are starting back after many moons it is advisable to work with a professional, including your doctor. You might also consider types of exercise that put less stress on your joints, like swimming.

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