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Debunking 5 Fitness Myths

Okay, I didn't write this, but I have been insisting on this for ages. Today, I found it at Livestrong.com, one of my favorite fitness sites, and the author, Anne Hinze, states in a very short and sweet manner. So here it is:

Five Fitness Myths and the Truths behind Them

1. Women Shouldn't Lift Weights
Many women believe that weightlifting is only for women who want to be in body building competitions. Every woman should incorporate a weightlifting regime into her exercise routine, especially as we age. The body needs resistance to grow and maintain muscle tone and bone strength. Before all our modern conveniences were invented, women needed to lift and carry heavy objects every day of their lives. These types of activities helped keep muscles and bones strong. Build weightlifting activities into your routine to keep your muscle tone and bone strength for life.

2. It Takes Months to Get Results
A basic exercise program of at least 30 minutes a day, followed for two weeks will provide you with results, regardless of your current fitness level. Any increase in your exercise level improves the condition of your heart almost immediately. Structural muscles will adjust to strain and exertion within two days, building tissue and improving your strength incrementally with each exercise session.

3. No Pain, No Gain
Pain is an indicator of something gone wrong. This is true of everything, including exercise. Muscles are developed through strain and rebuilding at the tissue level. There should be no pain. You should only feel a dull ache the next day that decreases with heat, gentle stretching and time. Stretching muscles properly feels like a gentle, firm pull but no added tension or pressure in the joints or tendons.

4. Diet Is More Important Than Exercise
Increase the amount and intensity of your exercise routines to get faster and more sustained weight loss that dietary changes alone can achieve. Try it yourself. Simply add 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine for two weeks without changing your eating habits. This exercise can be a brisk walk, active play with your kids or a run with the dog. At the end of the two weeks, your muscle tone has improved, waistline is a little trimmer and you weigh slightly less.

5. Carbohydrate Reduced Diets Are Healthy
The body needs complex carbs like bread, pasta and potatoes for proper nutrition and digestion. Without these carbs, the body will not absorb critical vitamins and minerals. A diet without any carbs will cause fast weight loss for the first two weeks. This lose is due to dehydration and muscle loss, as the body breaks down muscle and liver tissues to obtain glycogen, which is the storage form of glucose. The lack of muscle glycogen causes muscle fatigue, lowers your metabolic rate and makes your muscles saggy. Low carb diets cannot sustain the weight loss. The lbs. will return when a balanced diet is resumed.

About this Author
Anne Hinze, who has a Master's Degree in English, is an editor for American Book Publishing and a freelance writer for Writers Research Group, where she has published many online articles pertaining to fitness. Hinze is a lover of extreme sports including rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking and mountain boarding.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
I really dislike the first one, and it's sister myth, that women will bulk up if they don't do low weights and high reps. Although I would recommend low weight and reps of 12-15 to most everyone except competitors with special goals, the whole idea that it's easy for someone without testosterone to get really large muscles just annoys the crap out of me.

I also hate the myth that if you do too much aerobics you will burn muscle, not fat. In order to actually do this, you need to be doing intense aerobics for more than an hour and a half, so most ordinary gym goers are about as likely to have this problem as they are to win the state lottery.
Oct. 21st, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the only way you will overdevelop muscles and look like a man, will be by taking anabolic steroids (it will also give you a lovely mustache). But people are tryly afraid of weights. Sigh.
Oct. 20th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Perhaps there's a corallary between the number of women who believe myth #1 and the number of women who develope osteoporosis. As you and I have discussed on occasion, weight-bearing exercise (and my doctors have always thought that weight lifting is a grand idea) is very important for women of our age. I miss working on the weight machines at the gym, so I substitue "baby lifts," gardening, toting books and boxes - you get the idea.

Of course, maternal unit M's version of "weight bearing exercise" has been lifting baskets of laundry, toting a vaccuum up and down three flights of stairs, yard-work, moving furniture, etc. - it's worked for her for nearly 77 years :-)
Oct. 20th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Yup. Myths.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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