Five Exercise Myths That Might Surprise You

Five Exercise Myths That Might Surprise You
By now, we all understand that regular exercise is good for everybody. Its good the heart, it helps us maintain a desirable body weight, and has a positive effect on relieving stress. But, there are many exercise myths that have repeatedly been presented as fact, either by those who are trying to sell us something, or by those who mean well, but haven’t gotten their facts straight.
Here are five myths about physical fitness that some readers may find surprising.
Myth #1
You can reduce fat in specific areas of the body, by doing exercises that target those particular body areas.
On the face of it, that seems to make sense, but trying to burn fat in a precise spot where you want to lose it, simply doesn’t work. The only way to burn fat is through exercise, expending more calories then you’ve ingested. And exercise burns fat gradually, and from all areas of the body simultaneously, not just around the muscles you’re using. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work the areas where you have extra fat though. Doing so will build muscle there, and that will give that area a more toned look, when the fat over the muscle is reduced.
Myth #2
You must exercise regularly, in order for the exertion to benefit you.
There’s no doubt about it, getting truly physically fit requires many weeks of diligent effort. With that in mind, many people believe, that if they can’t or don’t have the willpower to exercise several times per week, any lesser effort is wasted. But, any amount of exercise is beneficial.
Even if you only take a walk occasionally, the effort can help lower your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. It probably won’t help you lose weight or build muscle, but it’s certainly worthwhile, from an overall health point-of-view. And psychologically, sometimes when we start off exercising every now and then, we soon realize, that’s it not as difficult as we thought, and making time for exercise on a regular basis, is not as difficult as we might have believed.
Myth #3
Strength training will make your body too muscular.
Some people use weight training to develop large muscles. Many others participate in order to increase their strength and tone their overall musculature, but are not interested in “bulking up.” But if you follow a sensible strength-training regimen, there’s no need to end up looking like a bodybuilder. On the contrary, without a positive genetic disposition for large muscle growth, any strength training results will be positive, but not excessive.
The “bodybuilders” pictured today spend many hours a week in the gym, performing many sets, with increasing weight resistance. A more mainstream strength training program consists of 10 – 12 different exercises, at between 8 – 12 repetitions, utilizing all major muscle groups, twice-a-week.
Myth #4
Muscle turns to fat, if you stop exercising that muscle group.
Muscle cannot magically transform itself into fatty tissue. There is no need to worry about your hard-earned, six-pack abs turning into jello, if your exercise routine is interrupted. Muscles will shrink (atrophy), if not challenged regularly, with resistance exercises, and this may create a flabby, less-toned appearance, over time. The missed exercise routine, with fewer calories burned, will also cause a reduced metabolism, making it much more likely, you will gain weight, as fat.
Myth #5
I’m too old to start exercising.
Aging, in many cases, brings an inevitable decrease in personal health status. With that in mind, many people believe that, if they haven’t followed a regular exercise routine, starting later in life is futile. Research has showed that nothing could be further from the truth. Exercise can assist in the management of many health problems, common among the middle-aged and elderly. As always, it’s extremely important to consult your physician, before embarking on a strenuous regimen, as they understand your physical condition better than anyone. Unfortunately, although exercise is incredibly beneficial to most, because of prior medical conditions, certain individuals may not be able to participate safely.
Exercise myths may hinder people from embarking on a personal fitness program. Knowing the truth, behind the myths, may alleviate those fears, and make it easier for individuals to pursue a healthy lifestyle correctly.