10 Exercise Myths!

an exercise of abs

an exercise of abs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although some old fitness fictions, such as “no pain, no gain” and “spot reducing” are fading fast, plenty of popular exercise misconceptions still exist. Here are some of the most common exercise myths as well as the not-so-common facts based on current exercise research.

Exercise Myth 1. You Will Burn More Fat If You Exercise Longer at a Lower Intensity. The most important focus in exercise and fat weight control is not the percentage of exercise energy coming from fat but the total energy cost, or how many calories are burned during the activity. The faster you walk, step or run, for example, the more calories you use per minute. However, high-intensity exercise is difficult to sustain if you are just beginning or returning to exercise, so you may not exercise very long at this level. It is safer, and more practical, to start out at a lower intensity and work your way up gradually.

Exercise Myth 2. If You’re Not Going to Work Out Hard and Often, Exercise Is a Waste of Time. This kind of thinking keeps a lot of people from maintaining or even starting an exercise program. Research continues to show that any exercise is better than none. For example, regular walking or gardening for as little as an hour a week has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Exercise Myth 3. Yoga Is a Completely Gentle and Safe Exercise. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise, but some styles are quite rigorous and demanding both physically and mentally. As with any form of exercise, qualified, careful instruction is necessary for a safe, effective workout.

Exercise Myth 4. If You Exercise Long and Hard Enough, You Will Always Get the Results You Want. In reality, genetics plays an important role in how people respond to exercise. Studies have shown a wide variation in how different exercisers respond to the same training program. Your development of strength, speed and endurance may be very different from that of other people you know.

Exercise Myth 5. Exercise Is One Sure Way to Lose All the Weight You Desire. As with all responses to exercise, weight gain or loss is impacted by many factors, including dietary intake and genetics. All individuals will not lose the same amount of weight on the same exercise program. It is possible to be active and overweight. However, although exercise alone cannot guarantee your ideal weight, regular physical activity is one of the most important factors for successful long-term weight management.

Exercise Myth 6. If You Want to Lose Weight, Stay Away From Strength Training Because You Will Bulk Up. Most exercise experts believe that cardiovascular exercise and strength training are both valuable for maintaining a healthy weight. Strength training helps maintain muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage.

Exercise Myth 7. Water Fitness Programs Are Primarily for Older People or Exercisers With Injuries. Recent research has shown that water fitness programs can be highly challenging and effective for both improving fitness and losing weight. Even top athletes integrate water fitness workouts into their training programs.

Exercise Myth 8. The Health and Fitness Benefits of Mind-Body Exercise Like Tai Chi and Yoga Are Questionable. In fact, research showing the benefits of these exercises continues to grow. Tai chi, for example, has been shown to help treat low-back pain and fibromyalgia. Improved flexibility, balance, coordination, posture, strength and stress management are just some of the potential results of mind-body exercise.

Exercise Myth 9. Overweight People Are Unlikely to Benefit Much From Exercise. Studies show that obese people who participate in regular exercise programs have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than sedentary individuals, regardless of weight. Both men and women of all sizes and fitness levels can improve their health with modest increases in activity.

Exercise Myth 10. Home Workouts Are Fine, But Going to a Gym Is the Best Way to Get Fit. Research has shown that some people find it easier to stick to a home-based fitness program. In spite of all the hype on trendy exercise programs and facilities, the “best” program for you is the one you will participate in consistently.

Planks!

Doing planks during your workouts is a great way to activate your core.  Center planks or side planks are great.  Hold for 20 – 45 seconds.  Keep your core tight and activated, shoulders pulled backed and down, glutes and inner thighs squeezed and chin up.  Finding it hard to do them on your toes start on your knees, than on one knee and one leg on your toes, this will help you progress to your toes.  Good luck!

Workout Challenge!

Don’t have enough time to get to the gym today.  Try this workout at home.

  • Warm up – 3 minutes jump rope
  • Push ups 20x
  • Squats 20x
  • Stationary lunges 20x on each leg
  • Jump rope 2 minutes
  • Jumping jacks 1 minute
  • Push ups 20x
  • Jump squats (plyometrics) 20x
  • Split jump lunges 40x
  • Jump rope 2 minutes
  • Mountain climbers 1 minute
  • Dips – 20x
  • Plie squats heels up – 20x
  • Planks, center, side, side 45 seconds each
  • Repeat 2 – 3x

Enjoy!

 

What is TRX? And why should I/you be doing it?

TRX

TRX (Photo credit: campdarby)

Group exercise participants love core training, so it’s no wonder that TRX® Suspension Training has become a favorite in fitness and wellness facilities. What is this type of body leverage training, and how does it work? By suspending either your hands or feet, while the opposite end of the body is in contact with the ground, you displace your center of gravity, activating your core muscles during every exercise. So even a biceps curl becomes a core move!

You can increase or decrease workout intensity quickly and easily to suit the goals and abilities of each person in class. For standing exercises, simply move the feet closer to the anchor point to increase intensity or farther away to make the move easier. Adjust ground-based exercises in a similar way by moving your body behind or in front of the spot on the floor where the TRX is hanging neutral (i.e., straight down). To further fine-tune the level of difficulty, challenge stability by increasing or decreasing the base of support, or add speed variations to power things up or down. In this way, your most advanced students can work side-by-side with your newbies, and everyone gets a customized, individual workout.

Because this mode of training is “all core all the time,” you could justifiably do any TRX exercise in your core conditioning class. However, some exercises specifically target the core. If you have enough equipment for each person, your whole class can work together. If equipment is limited, add a TRX exercise or two to a core circuit that includes other exercises and equipment. Following are two favorites to try on your own:

TRX Crunch/Mountain Climber

Kneel facing away from anchor point, feet in foot cradles, hands aligned beneath shoulders. Lift knees off ground and come into plank position. Raising hips slightly, bring knees toward chest. Maintain body alignment as you return to fully extended start position. For mountain climber variation, alternate legs while maintaining equal pressure through both foot cradles. Modifications:Perform from forearms to increase stability of exercise. Once perfect form is maintained, increase speed of concentric and/or eccentric actions.

TRX Kneeling Oblique Roll-Out

Kneel facing away from anchor, hands on handles, body upright. Turn lower body to “10 o’clock” or “2 o’clock” position; upper body faces front. Slowly drive arms up and lean forward from knees, keeping core engaged. Do not roll out so far that you put unnecessary stress on shoulders or break alignment at hip—keep work in core. Return to start position, maintaining body alignment. Modifications: Face front to target rectus abdominis, or stand to increase challenge. As you progress, increase range of motion, and experiment with speed.


Exercise thoughts

With exercise, it really is true that you get out of it what you put into it. Simply showing up for class and going through the motions isn’t going to do you much good. To get the most out of your exercise session, give it your all, even if your all is less than what others might be doing.  What you do during your workout will carry you thru the next one and make you stronger.  This is something to think about when exercising.