10 Exercise Delusions…Um, I Mean Myths

Swagger Chicks, today we have our resident Drill Sergeant motivator on tap to smash our self-deception set us on the straight and narrow. I mean, how can we possibly actualize our fitness goals – whatever they may be – if we’re not bitch-slapped into believing aware of the truth? I’ll admit, I was surprised by a few of these entrenched myths. I bet a few of y’all may be too… Enjoy!

Drop and give me forty!

Hey Gals, Jodi here!

We’ve all heard it: “I don’t want to bulk-up.” Or “I need to do sit ups to get rid of my belly.” I get it. We’re all looking to maximize results and minimize time and effort.  But the search for shortcuts has translated into a lot of myths.

I’m here to set the record straight… So here are the top 10 myths of exercise:

1.)  NO PAIN-NO GAIN

Let’s get this straight, feeling discomfort during a workout is OK and good, but get to the edge of your discomfort and then stay there.

The ongoing perception that people need to feel pain through out the workout or they aren’t getting the benefit just isn’t correct. You should never exercise to the point of pain.

Exercise smarter, not harder.

2.) STRETCHING BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT WILL HELP PREVENT INJURIES

A growing number of studies challenge the assumption that stretching pre-workout helps prevent injuries.

There are two types of stretching: Static and Dynamic

- Static Stretching  is when you stay in one place, bend over to touch your toes, or try to pull your ankles towards your hips. Studies are proving this neither prevents nor causes injury.  In fact, studies are showing that holding static stretches for more than 1 minute can be detrimental to performance.

- Dynamic Stretching focuses on movement. Some athletes often swing their arms, do high knee jogs, walking lunges – all of which help move your muscles through different range of motion.  Athletes who practice dynamic stretching versus static stretching generally have a higher range of motion.

So, if you are going to stretch or you feel the need to stretch, always warm up your body first. Muscles need to be warm to stretch.

3.) YOU CAN SPOT REDUCE FOR TIGHT ABS OR TONED ARMS

Sorry, ladies. This one’s false too. No matter how many sit ups you do, if your diet isn’t healthy, you won’t find that six pack.  Try and focus on every body part.

4.) LOW-INTENSITY EXERCISE BURNS MORE FAT

Low intensity workouts definitely have their place since we all know it’s less stressful on joints. They myth here is that if you exercise too intensely, you end up burning carbs instead of fat. But remember, when your body had burned up all your carbs, it starts burning fat.

5.) WOMEN SHOULDN’T LIFT WEIGHTS BECAUSE IT’LL MAKE THEM BULKY

Here’s the deal: women have too much estrogen to bulk. Guys build muscle faster because of the stuff that makes them want to jump in the sack all the time. Yeah, that testosterone juice.

So, ladies, don’t fear the barbell. Strength training helps decrease body fat, increase lean muscle, and burn calories more efficiently. You’ll notice results if you’re strength training 2-3 times a week.

6.) YOUR CARDIO MACHINE IS COUNTING THE CALORIES YOU’RE BURNING

The truth: The number calculated by your machine is likely NOT accurate. Someone at 18% body fat will burn more than someone with 35% body fat. Not many people know their body fat and not many machines ask this question. (Misty thinks this is overall probably a good thing.)

7.) I WORKED OUT FOR 45-60 MINUTES, NOW I CAN EAT WHATEVER I WANT

We have all said this to ourselves before, right? Remember the gym doesn’t negate a bad diet. Exercise and eating healthy have to go hand in hand.  Don’t ruin a good workout and then “undo” it with a bad diet.

8.) MUSCLES WEIGH MORE THAN FAT

Muscle does not weigh more than fat. One pound of muscle and one pound of fat both weigh one pound. It’s like a trick question, right? ;) However, muscle is more dense than fat, which means that one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat. The reality: Two women stand next to each other. They each weigh 160 pounds. One has more muscle tone than the other. Who do you think is going to look more slim?

9.) THE MORE EXERCISE THE BETTER

Just like everything else, balance is key. Too much exercise can lead to injury and/or burnout.  When it comes to exercise, you need an appropriate balance of training and rest.

10.) EXERCISE IS BORING

FALSE!! There are a million different ways to move your body – finding the right form of exercise is key. It can be lots of fun – it’s just a matter of discovering what you enjoy, what works for your lifestyle…and then do it. Moving daily it crucial for your health, so try to make it part of your day!

Are you surprised by any of these myths? What’s holding YOU back from making exercise part of your lifestyle?

Comments

  1. I will be the first to admit that my LAZINESS is holding me back form working out.
    I love eating healthy, that is not a problem but working out? I don’t enjoy it!
    I love doing hot yoga in the Fall/Winter but not in the Summer. I’ve done a lot of walking though, I know that doesn’t count for much!
    After a 12-14hr day, the last thing I want to do is workout :(

    • Hey Anna,
      Don’t be down on yourself, girl! Walking most definitely counts! From Jodi’s message I took away that consistency really matters in the end. MO-VING. If it’s not fun, you won’t keep at it. Our gym has contests (with prizes!) to try to get members to try a variety of group exercise classes. The thinking is that most people won’t try something new without a motivation, but once they’ve spread their wings a bit, most people find they really enjoy something they never even considered before. You’re good with goal-setting, maybe you should try a few new classes at a gym near you. Even interspersing one class a week with your walking would help shake things up. I need to take a dose of my own medicine here! (Jodi, you’re gonna see me in one of your new classes soon!!)

      You work hard and long hours, girl! What about walking on your lunch break? I used to do this when I worked full time before my kids were born. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but if you can drag your butt out of the chair, exercising will actually revitalize you, help you sleep better, and help you cope with stress (I’m speaking from experience, giiiirl!)

      Okay, I’ll shut my trap for now, but I’m passionate about how exercise can change your life. Thanks for sharing – always love to see your pretty face! xoxo

  2. Great post. I’m wondering if you could expand a little on # 4. I really want to burn FAT – should I exercise more intensely? I know it’s early but I’m wondering if my low intense workouts need to be stepped up. I do watch my knees. After running for years they just don’t like too much pounding :-) any ideas on what would be a good higher intensity workout for someone wanting to baby their knees?

  3. GREAT question Kylie!!! This may surprise you but, lifting weights will help you burn fat! Including that in your routine will help you extremely. Muscle will help you burn more even at rest. When it comes to cardio, you want to get your heart rate up and exercise at least 30 min/day.
    So include weight training 2-3 times a week and during cardio, get the heart rate between 120-150 (depending on your age)!
    Go for it girl!! Let me know what else I can do to help!!

  4. Now I can Blame it on Testosterone Juice!
    Thanks

  5. Jodi, you know any Jesse’s? :D

  6. Kylie, there are many low impact exercises you can do with bum knees.
    If you belong to a gym, get on a cross trainer type machine or a bike and go hard enough to really increase heart rate. You want to be breathing heavy but yet can talk.
    Hope this helps! :)

  7. Hey girls. I nominated you all for the Readers Appreciation Award. Hope all is well. Hope all is well.

  8. Great tips, I always laughed when I used the elliptical machine it gave such an astronomically large number of calories burned. It is hard I think some people believe it means a big lunch but they really did not burn that many calories.

  9. Hello Misty Dietz– love your good influence to care for ourselves in a healthy way. I swim laps every morning from 6:30 – 7:30 but have the luxury of Southern California weather. It feels so good! Anyway, love your blog.

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