Exercise fads and fallacies

by frank-stuart
31AUG

You’ve probably heard so many “facts” about exercise that you might be confused about which ones are actually correct. There are as many myths about exercise as there are about diets, and separating the good advice from the bad advice can be difficult. In this article, we’ve poured cold water over some of the more widespread fallacies about exercise, so hopefully you can gain a better understanding of the role physical activity plays in improving your health and fitness.

No pain, no gain

This is a persistent myth that basically says if you are not in pain after a work-out, you haven’t done enough to get the most out of it. Yes you should push yourself, yes you should feel tired after a work-out, and yes you will experience soreness, but that does not mean you should be in pain after a work-out. It’s counter-productive to exercise until you’re in pain, because you greatly increase the likelihood of suffering a serious injury, and then you won’t be able to exercise for weeks, maybe months.

The longer your exercise regime is, the better off you’ll be

This is simply not the case. The effectiveness of an exercise regime is not based on time. This is welcome news considering how time-poor most of us are. You can certainly get fitter and healthier with short and sharp exercise routines. The key is to make sure they are structured well. There’s a lot you can fit into an hour. Many exercises work numerous muscles at once. It’s better to do small amounts of exercise every day then one big session every week.

Weights don’t help you burn fat

People who want to lose weight continue to be frightened by the idea of lifting weights. “That will make me bulk up but I want to trim down,” they say. You will only bulk up from lifting weights if you follow a weight-lifting regime specifically designed to bulk up. The act of lifting weights burns calories and improves your muscle metabolism. If you want proof, just take note of how much your heart rate goes up after a weight session. The best way to lose weight might be to combine weight training with cardiovascular training, and complement it with a balanced diet.

Carbs are bad

This is not so much an exercise myth as a diet myth, but it has a huge effect on how we exercise. You should be wary of any diet plan that completely eliminates carbohydrates. It is essential to have a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, especially if you plan to exercise regularly. Carbohydrates provide you with energy and can boost your metabolism. A lack of carbohydrates can cause dizziness, fatigue and constipation. Complex carbohydrates such as grains, beans and broccoli should make up the bulk of your carb intake, but simple carbohydrates can be helpful after rigorous exercise.

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