The 5 Common Exercise Myths and the Truths That Prevail

For many, the thought of exercise makes us cringe; conjuring up negative images of being sweaty, out of breath and feeling completely out of shape.  You may also be thinking, I’m too old to be active now or too busy to find the time.  Whatever your barrier is, below are five of the biggest myths that people often cite as a reason to avoid exercise:

Myth #l – Exercise makes you tired.

Truth – As their bodies get more in shape, most people feel exercising gives them more energy than before. Regular exercise can also help fight fatigue, improve your sleep, and manage your stress.

Myth #2 – Exercising takes too much time.

Truth – To maintain a healthy weight, it can take as little as 30-40 minutes per day, most days of the week.  If your goal is to lose weight, it’s advised that you aim for about 45-60 minutes each day.  But here’s the best part; it doesn’t have to be done all at one time.  Most of us can find 5-10 minutes to spare at different points in the day.  Using these spare minutes a couple times throughout the day adds up quickly and becomes a routine part of your healthy lifestyle.    

Myth #3 – All exercise will give you similar benefits.

Truth – Not all physical activities are created equal.  Each type (cardiovascular, strength, flexibility) offer unique advantages and benefits.  A good routine incorporates all 3 types and rotates through different exercises every few weeks to prevent your muscles from becoming accustomed to the same movement.  This ensures that you’ll gain the most benefit from your program.

Myth #4 –You need less exercise as you age.

Truth – We become less active as we get older and as a result should strive to ensure that we get some physical activity into our daily routine.  Everyone benefits from exercise regardless of age.  The important thing is to find the appropriate activities and intensity level based on your physical capabilities.

Myth #5 – If I focus my exercise on certain trouble spots, I will be able to lose fat from those specific areas.

Truth – The type of exercise you do does not affect the number of fat cells in a specific area.  There is no such thing as spot reduction.  Therefore 100 sit ups a day is not going to bring about a flat stomach.  It will help develop your muscles in that respective area but this doesn’t equate to fat loss.  When the body loses fat, it does so in a systemic fashion or all throughout the body at the same time.  There is no way to direct or influence the elimination of fat from specific areas outside the use of surgical liposuction procedures. 

More Truths About Exercise

A number of studies have been conducted on people who have lost weight and kept it off for extended periods of time.  Examining their behaviors, researchers found that one of the common features is the fact that most lead active lives.  Some participate in formal exercise such as classes or regular visits to the gym, while others choose to incorporate activity into their lifestyle. 

Once you’ve made the decision that exercise is no longer a task but a part of your life, consider what exercises you may enjoy.  You are much more likely to stick to a regular activity if you enjoy it.   Whichever method you choose, it’s important to talk to your doctor first before beginning any exercise routine.

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