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Top Five Fitness Myths

January 16, 2014 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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With the January fitness frenzy in full swing, I'm again hearing a number of physical activity myths.

To address this, we look at common myths you may be hearing at the workplace, in the locker-room, or reading online.

Five Fitness Myths:

  1. Spot reduction (e.g., doing sit-ups to reduce your waistline): Exercising a specific region will not alter body composition in that area but will increase the strength of the targeted muscles. Decreases in body fat require a holistic approach (nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle changes) and will effect the entire body.
  2. Stretching beforehand: Stretching is best after exercising when muscles are warm. Static stretching (stretching while the body is at rest) before exercise is not as effective as stretching after warming up. Interesting research is being done on dynamic stretching as part of an active warm-up (call us for tips on this).
  3. I need to sweat to burn calories: How much you sweat depends on temperature, exercise intensity, and varies between people. You can still be active without sweating. Activities like walking your dog, taking the stairs, or carrying your groceries can be done without sweating and spend significant calories.
  4. Physical activity is for the gym. You can be active anywhere you want! This includes your home, the park, or even your workplace.
  5. I don't want to look like a bodybuilder: To develop "bulging" muscles many months of training and a specific routine is needed. Most people benefit from doing resistance exercises 2-3 times a week and will feel stronger without looking like Popeye.

For further information about facts versus activity myths, call us at 1-877-725-1149. We're happy to help!


Photo credit: iStockphoto

Recommended Resources:

Physical Activity Line

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