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Ten Myths about Exercise

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1. Exercise is the Fastest Way to Lose Weight

Exercise is not the only factor in losing weight. The most effective method is changing your diet. A good rule of thumb is to reduce your intake by 300-500 calories every day if the goal is to lose 4-5 pounds per month.
In short – exercise boosts your metabolism, and with a suitable diet it helps you get results.

2. Stretching after Exercising Reduces Muscle Pain

Many say it feels good to stretch. But it has not been proven scientifically that stretching prior to and after exercise has any effect. The ‘sore muscles’ phenomenon is simply the healing of the muscles that we have stressed and therefore ‘injured’. The body simply rebuilt itself. Be careful when stretching; don’t overdo it. If it seems to help you, then you may keep doing it.

3. Abdominal Crunches Flatten your Stomach

We wish it were true, but it is impossible to burn abdominal fat by doing crunches. What does happen is that you build muscles; contrary to popular belief, you don’t burn fat. But don’t give up – you WILL get a firmer stomach by exercising, and having a strong body is a healthy benefit.

4. Muscles Turn into Fat if you Stop Exercising

If you stop exercising, you’ll lose muscle mass. But your muscles don’t turn into fat – rather they are converted to amino acids that get metabolized. If you then eat more than you metabolize, you do add fat to your body. The energy from the food you don’t metabolize turns into fat … not your muscles.

5. Running Burns More Calories than Walking

“It depends.” It doesn’t matter whether you run or walk. What matters is the time you spend on the activity. Recent studies show that if you walk for twice as long as you run, you metabolize slightly more food energy by walking. Just put on your coat or jacket and go for a walk.

6. Only Regular Exercise Gets Results

No doubt about it – regular exercise is very effective. If the goal is weight loss, a weekly exercise session is not going to cut it, though it’s better than nothing. A short run every two weeks can pave the way for more regular exercise sessions. Keep at it!

7. It Only Works if it Hurts

Good news. There’s no need for pain. Of course, you need to push yourself a bit to get results – that goes for any kind of exercise. Be sure to exhaust your reserves occasionally so to be tired after your session. Be equally sure not to exceed your pain threshold. Don’t be afraid of pushing yourself – it will help you. But exercise according to your ability – that’s it.

8. Don’t Exercise the Same Muscle Groups Two Days in a Row

You don’t mow your lawn two days in a row, do you? You might do some weeding instead. That’s how the body works. The process of restitution in each group of muscles depends on the kind of exercise you do. Some types of exercise make you sore for days. The general rule is that the body needs 48-78 hours of rest after an exercise session before you focus on the same group of muscles in another session.
It is fine to exercise the next day, if you exercise other muscle groups. Each person is unique when it comes to exercise. If your muscles are sore, let them rest.

9. The More you Sweat, the more Weight Loss

Being able to wring the sweat from your clothes is no indicator of burning calories. Many are under the mistaken impression that the more you perspire, the more weight you lose. That is not true. Sweat is the body’s cooling mechanism to maintain a steady temperature, and we are all different when it comes to perspiring. There is no correlation with burning calories – that’s a matter of your diet and the intensity of your exercise. Sweating – how much and for how long – is of no consequence.

10. Do Abdominal Crunches to Get a Sixpack

Sadly, no matter how many crunches you do, they won’t give you a sixpack. Your diet matters and building muscle strength – by exercising the entire body – matters. Strengthening your body gives you defined muscles. Therefore, your strategies should be eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and working on your stomach muscles. Stomach muscles are essential to holding our bodies upright.

Sources: Licensed exercise instructor and nutritionist Henric Rosvall | | DGI

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