Although some old fitness fictions, such as “no pain, no gain” and “spot reducing” are fading fast, plenty of popular exercise misconceptions still exist. Here are some of the most common myths as well as the not-so-common facts based on current exercise research.
One of the myths is that if you exercise longer at a lower intensity you will burn more fat. But the thing that is most important when you exercise is not the percentage of exercise but rather the total energy burned up. So if you were to walk, step, or run at a high intensity you will burn more calories, but it is difficult to keep that pace. The safe thing to do is to start at a low intensity and gradually build from there throughout your workout.
The next myth is that if you don’t workout hard and often exercise is a waste of time. On the contrary there is a lot of research that shows that any kind of exercise is better than no exercise what so ever. Even something as small as a walk for an hour a week will reduce the risk of heart disease.
Another myth is that if you exercise long and hard enough you will always get the results you want but in reality genetics plays a huge role in the changes that each individual sees from exercise. So 2 people were on the same exercise program one person may see results faster than the other because each persons strength, speed, and endurance development is different.
Another one is that exercise is one sure way to lose all the weight you desire, and also that there are many facts that come into weight loss like diet and importantly genetics. It is possible to be active and overweight, so even though exercise doesn’t guarantee weight loss regular activity is still important when it comes to long-term weight management.
My favorite myth is that if you want to lose weight you should stay away from strength training, but the thing is that you should use both cardio and strength training to have a healthy weight. The thing about weight training is that it helps maintain muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage.
Another myth is that water fitness is just for older people or people that have injuries, but actually water fitness is really hard and intense and is good for improving fitness and losing weight.
Deeming exercises like tai chi and yoga as questionable is another myth. The truth is that these exercises have shown to help treat lower back pain and also improve flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, strength, and help manage stress.
Overweight people are unlikely to benefit much from exercise is another common myth but people that are over weight that have a regular exercise program have a lower risk of mortality than other individuals. Men and women of all sizes and fitness levels can improve their health with a modest increase in their activity.
The last myth is that home workouts are fine, but going to a gym is a better way to get fit. There has been research that shows that some people are more comfortable and find it easier to stick to a home-based fitness program. The most important thing for exercise programs is to find a program that you will be able to stick to and do on a daily basis.