September 17th, 2018
- If you’ve been working out for any length of time or simply follow the trends in exercise, you know there is no shortage of conflicting and confusing advice; it can be a struggle to separate fitness fact from fiction
- Some of the common myths around exercise include the belief working out transforms fat into muscle; exercise is the single best way to lose weight; and your body mass index (BMI) is an accurate measure of your overall health
- I share my opinions about eight fitness tips that may be doing more harm than good, mainly because I want you to take control of your health and get the most enjoyment and benefit from your workouts
MYTH # 1: EXERCISE DOESN’T HELP COUNTER THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS AGING.
Getting weaker, suffering more aches and pains, losing muscle and gaining fat do not need to be part of the aging process. Many of the so called symptoms of old age are really the result of inactivity. It is possible to slow or even reverse the aging process by increasing strength, flexibility and cardiovascular efficiency. Remember you are NEVER TOO OLD to start an exercise program!
MYTH # 2: A SLUGGISH METABOLISM IS THE MAIN TRIGGER OF WEIGHT GAIN AS WE AGE.
Age related weight gain has far more to do with diet and activity levels. That said, a healthy metabolism is an important factor in weight control as is controlling inflammation which contributes to an inefficient metabolism. Having an efficient digestive system is also key to managing weight and maintaining a robust metabolism.
MYTH # 3: THE OPTIMAL TIME TO EXERCISE IS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
The optimal time is the one that works best for you! Consistency is the key to benefitting from an exercise program, so a commitment to a regular program is more important than the time of day. A morning workout may prevent daily obligations from intruding and a pm workout may improve the quality of sleep.
MYTH # 4: WORKING OUT TURNS FAT INTO MUSCLE.
This one has been around a while! This is not possible as physiologically they are different body tissues. However a workout program combined with a healthy diet will help you lose weight and gain muscle, thus improving your body fat percentage (see 8 below)
MYTH #5: EXERCISE IS THE BEST WAY TO LOOSE WEIGHT.
You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. Weight loss is almost entirely about changing the way you eat. However, once you have reached your weight goal, a regular exercise program will help to maintain that weight. (Please refer to my previous blog on this subject)
MYTH #6: IT TAKES A WHILE TO GET OUT OF SHAPE.
Muscle tissue starts to break down within the first week away from regular exercise and the decline continues from there. It is very much the case of “use it or lose it!”
MTYH #7: GAMES AND PUZZLES ARE THE BEST WORKOUT FOR YOUR BRAIN.
While mental games and puzzles have some effect on your brain, physical exercise is still among the best ways to ensure a healthy brain. In fact, there’s ample evidence showing physical exercise, especially strength training, is vitally important for healthy brain and nervous system function.
MYTH #8: BMI IS AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF YOUR OVERALL HEALTH.
BMI, beloved by the insurance industry and the medical profession is, at best, a general guide. A primary reason why BMI is a flawed tool relates to its use of weight as a measurement of your disease risk. In reality, a high percentage of body fat is correlated to a higher risk of disease. Much better measures are:
• Body fat percentage
• Waist to hip ratio
• Height to weight ratio