Health and fitness briefs: Debunking exercise myths

Health and fitness news briefs.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: December 20, 2011
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FITNESS

Debunking exercise myths

Does the thought of going to the gym make you shudder? Do workouts take too long?

Gina Grome, a certified trainer and owner of Lifestyle Management Solutions, has debunked some common exercise myths. In a FitOrbit news release, she refutes five misconceptions.

• Exercise makes you tired. As you get in better shape, you probably will find that exercise gives you more energy than you had before. Regular exercise can “fight fatigue, improve your sleep and manage your stress.”

• Exercising takes too much time. To maintain weight, you may have to exercise 30 to 40 minutes most days of the week. To lose weight, you should bump that up to 45 minutes to an hour. Quick workouts, 5 to 10 minutes apiece, can be scattered throughout the day.

• All exercise leads to similar benefits. Not really. Cardiovascular, strength and flexibility exercise produce different outcomes. Good workout routines include all three. Change up your exercises every few weeks to maximize the benefits.

• You need less exercise as you age. Truth is, you should keep exercising throughout your life. Middle-aged spread isn't inevitable. Find appropriate activities at the right intensity levels for your abilities.

• If I target certain trouble spots, I'll lose weight in those specific areas. Nope. There's no such thing as spot reduction.

The importance of stretching

Make sure you save time for stretching.

“There are many benefits to stretching that make it an important component to fitness,” according to a news release from Life Fitness, which manufactures exercise machines. “Stretching can improve performance, decrease risk of injury and improve flexibility by increasing joint range of motion.”

• Warm up first. The ideal warm-up is a lower-intensity version of whatever exercise you're about to do. If you're going to run on the treadmill, spend some time walking before you speed things up. The goal is to prevent injuries by increasing the temperature of your muscle tissues.

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