Top 5 Exercise Myths

When it comes to exercising there are experts everywhere, especially on Instagram and blogs. The problem is that some of the advice they are giving is confusing. For a beginner, it’s hard to tell facts from fiction. We are here to bust some of the most common myths related to exercising.

1. Women should not lift

The weights in the gym can be intimidating for most ladies and looking at the people using them you might get the wrong impression that you will look like the young Arnold Schwarzenegger if you go anywhere near the iron.

The simple truth is that lifting weights according to your fitness levels will tone your muscles and make you look gorgeous. In fact, lifting weights is a sure way to lose body fat, increase your bone density and sculpt the muscles. The physiological differences between a man and a woman ensure that you will not look like a bodybuilder. If you need any more proof, just think that every Victoria’s angel lifts.

2. It only takes 10 minutes 3-4 days a week

Ok, we admit it, any exercise is better than no exercise. If you hope to reshape your body in just 10 minutes a day, no matter what exercises you squeeze into those minutes, think again. Losing weight is a game of numbers, you need to burn more calories than you put into your body. You have to burn 7000 calories to lose just one kg.

If you imagine the most demanding exercises, those roughly burn about 900 calories an hour, which means that in 10 minutes of that you can hope to burn about 150 calories per day, which is approximately the equivalent of a banana. At this rate, it will take at least two months to lose a kilogram. We can suspect that you will lose your motivation earlier.

3. Static stretching before the workout

Static stretching means holding a stretch for 20 -30 seconds and some people even bounce in these stretches.  The worst is performing static stretches before a workout. This is so dangerous that it can at worst tear your ligaments and at best give you a charlie horse.

What I teach my clients is to do a dynamic warm-up which means take 3 to 5 minutes of walking on the treadmill or low impact exercises before you perform your workout, and then do the static stretches at the end.  For my folks who have neck or back injuries, I have them perform some specific stretches using a stability ball to warm up the spine prior to the 3 to 5 minutes of walking. Remember to not simply hold a stretch but to breath into stretches.  Breathe in to a count of 5 or 6 and exhale to the same count and hold the stretch for three deep breaths.

4. You’re too old to exercise

Another damaging myth is that if you didn’t exercise when you were young, your body would not respond appropriately if you’re past a certain age. The truth is that all organisms have a remarkable capacity to change and adapt at any age. Probably you’ve heard of inspirational stories of people becoming yoga instructors and taking up fitness classes well into their 70s, and for most of them it is a way to release the grief of losing their partner.

5. Joining a gym is enough

Many people think that the act of joining a gym is going to do the trick and motivate you to exercise.  The truth is that 90 percent of folks who purchase a gym membership don’t use it, which is why the business is so lucrative.  Also, many people start exercising and don’t know exactly how to begin and start off too strong and end up injuring themselves, then quit altogether.  The best thing to do is to hire a professional personal trainer who can help you develop a personalized program based on your needs, which can absolutely speed up your results injury free.

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