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Healthy eating and exercise for life

Fact From Fiction: Common Exercise Myths Debunked

With all of the quick-fix gimmicks on the market for diet and exercise, it’s hard to discern what really works and what’s doesn’t.  Can you really sweat off the weight by wearing a special “suit” in place of exercise?  Can you lose fat by applying a cream to your thighs?  These claims are obviously false but there are some exercise myths out there many people believe to be true.

Myth #1: Exercise Makes You Tired

It’s natural to feel fatigued after a particularly intense workout but for the most part, exercise gives people more energy throughout the day and relieves stress.  As you learn to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you will sleep better at night and wake up with a renewed energy to start the day. 

Myth #2: Weight Training Will Bulk You Up

This myth seems to be a problem for women in particular.  Many people believe that strength training will cause them to develop large muscles, giving the appearance of a professional weight lifter.  Actually, weight training is a great way to give your body a sculpted and toned appearance.  It will also help burn excess fat, help protect your body from injury and help prevent osteoporosis.  To build large muscles, you would have to do extremely intense periods of strength training with large amounts of weight.

Myth #3: The More Exercise, the Better

It is possible to overexert your body and exercise too much.  Many people hope they can lose 5 pounds a week as long as they put in long hours at the gym everyday.  Working your body too hard may lead to exhaustion and injury.  Find a sensible amount of time to workout everyday and then allow your body to rest and recuperate.  Most health authorities recommend 30-90 minutes of exercise a day depending on your goal.  And, remember this can be broken up into different “bouts” of exercise.

Myth #4: You can “Spot-Reduce” Areas of Your Body

Many people believe that by exercising one area of the body, they can remove the fat from that area.  While abdominal exercises will strengthen and tone the muscles of your stomach, it will not remove the outer layer of fat.  Keep in mind that everyone has a different body type and areas they find more troublesome than others.

Myth #5: You have to be Athletic to Exercise

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to get a good workout!  There are many activities you can participate in that require no athletic talent.  Try taking a brisk walk, lifting weights, joining a friendly game of Frisbee or just dancing around the house!  The important thing is to burn calories.  Find an activity you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.