Exercise Myths and Misconceptions

Posted by SoundHealth on Wednesday, January, 07 2009 and filed under Fitness
Key topics: Exercise Fitness

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Many people are hindered from exercising because of myths and misconceptions like exercise is only beneficial if done at high intensity, or women may think that weight training will make them more muscular. With all the information out there about exercise and fitness, it can sometimes be hard to separate fact from fiction. This article will try to dispel some common exercise myths.

Myth: fat Can Be Burned From Specific Areas

One of the most common exercise myths is that fat can be reduced from specific parts of the body, such as the abdomen or thighs. The truth is that fat cannot be burned from specific body parts. Fat is stored throughout the body, and exercise will use fat from different areas and not necessarily the part you are working, however, the area may become more firm and toned. The best way to reduce body fat is with a consistent routine of cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching.

Myth: "No pain, no gain"

Another exercise misconception is that is that you must exercise at a very high intensity or for long hours to get results. However, research shows that even low to moderate intensity routines have valuable health benefits. A good general recommendation is to do cardiovascular exercise three to five days a week for 20 to 45 minutes per session at a level where you are working but aren't gasping for air.

Myth: Strength training will build up big muscles

A common misconception among women is that lifting weights will make them bulk up and become muscular. Bodybuilders have usually spent hours at the gym, and may use steroids and follow strict diets to achieve their physiques. Also, women have less of the hormone testosterone, which is key to developing large muscles. Strength training approximately two to four times a week, doing a variety of exercises for the major muscle groups, will help to achieve a lean and toned appearance.

Myth: If you stop working out, muscle will turn into fat

Many people believe that if they stop working out, their muscle will turn into fat. Muscle and fat are two distinct tissues, and never can be converted from one to the other. If you stop exercising, muscle tissue will shrink, so you may feel flabbier. Also, when muscles get smaller, they do not need as many calories, so the metabolism slows down. With a slower metabolism, if you eat the same amount of calories, you may gain body fat.

Myth: If you didn't exercise when you were younger, it's too late to start

A misconception among some older people is that it is too late to start an exercise routine if they didn't work out when they were younger. However, studies have shown that it is never too late to start working out - you can reap benefits at any age. Exercise can help reduce the risk of bone and muscle diseases and help enhance daily functionality even later in life.

Now that some common exercise myths have been dispelled, you can start exercising being more well-informed, to become fitter and healthier.

Regardless of age and medical history, it is advisable to consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.

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