Five Common Exercise Myths

January 02, 2018

Five Common Exercise Myths

There is a quite a lot of misinformation floating around regarding exercise. It can be hard to determine which is which, especially in this Internet age where inaccurate information can be easily spread. We’ve all fallen to bad advice, so we have compiled a few of these myths to shed light on these subjects.

Stretching before working out is extremely vital.

While warming up before a session is indeed important as it could diminish the chance of injury, stretching has not been proven to be all that beneficial. Studies have shown that stretching does not lessen muscle fatigue after a workout nor does it prevent injuries. Dynamic warm ups would do and stretches are best done after the session for that “feel good” effect and nothing more.

Painful and long regular workout sessions are better.

Intensity and duration do play key roles in weight loss and building up muscle mass. However, subjecting the body to so much strain could lead to serious injuries that are often mistaken for progress. This could hinder recovery and make things even worse than they were before. Let’s not forget the psychological effects of fatigue and pain. It’s quite easy to associate these two things with exercise, making exercise a hazardous chore. A lot of people swear off exercise because of these associations. What we can do is space out intense workout plans. Every other day is the recommended schedule, with light “recovery” sessions in between.

Gaining muscle mass does not translate to weight loss.

Well yes, kind of. When you work out and slowly develop those rippling biceps and washboard abs, you gain weight in lean muscle and muscle is more dense than fat—it’s heavier. But having a higher percentage of lean muscle also increases resting metabolic rate. This means you burn more calories at rest. So the myth that exercising to gain muscle is useless if you are trying to lose a few pounds is absolutely false.

Some people just find it easier to cut back on caloric intake instead of working out the same amount of energy through exercise. But this method makes the body lose fat AND muscle mass, so the body’s metabolic rate while not doing anything is also diminished.

Sweating a lot means you’ve done well at the gym.

This is really relative. Sweating for a perfectly healthy individual means that the body’s core temperature has increased and it’s a way of cooling down via evaporation of water on the surface of the skin. Sweating buckets does not entirely translate to a particularly fruitful exercise session. A tip though—be careful if working out on a particularly humid day. Sweat can’t evaporate as easily when it’s high humidity so the body can’t properly cool down. On a more downer note, sweating profusely even when body temperature isn’t that high could be a sign of serious conditions like high blood sugar levels, nerve issues, and anxieties to name a few.

It’s better to exercise at home than at a gym and vice versa.

Nope. The moment you start being active, you’ve already done yourself a huge favour. It matters not whether you have a gym membership or you invest in gym equipment for home use. You are already on the right path. Just keep at it.

So remember these tip the next time you work out and if someone slams down another exercise fact within hearing distance, be critical and do your own research.

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