Home Strength Training De-bunking exercise myths – Estes Park Trail-Gazette

De-bunking exercise myths – Estes Park Trail-Gazette


It’s been a while since I’ve seen a de-bunking the Myths article in the health news. As you, my faithful readers know I love to debunk because I want my exercise to be worth every minute spent. Taken from the “fitbe” website, by Mackenzie and Kosecki an article called “16 Ridiculous Exercise Myths Revealed.” Here’s my take on these exercise myths.

Slow workouts burn more fat? To lose weight, you must burn more calories that you eat, no matter how long it takes you. So, if it takes you 10 hours/per week of walking slow to burn the same number of calories that higher intensity or faster/interval burns in 2.5 hours per week, you’ll see the same results.

Does stretching prevent injuries? After years of research on thousands of subjects there is very little evidence that faithful stretchers are any less likely to get injured than the rest of us. However, the benefits that stretching provides the body is extremely important to function and mobility. So don’t stop!

Lifting heavy weight will make you look like a bodybuilder? In order to look like a bodybuilder, it takes a precise combination of weight training, diet and hormones. Most women don’t have enough testosterone to “get big” even with protein shakes. There’s a research project from Central Michigan University that had women lift heavy weight with one arm and more reps with lighter weight on the other. The results showed that the arm that lifted the heavier weight was stronger but there was no size difference between the arms.

Do you have to lift heavy weights to get stronger? Research out of McMaster University in Canada explored different types of training and found that if you are a believer in less weight and more reps, then you must lift that weight until you can’t lift it any longer. Would you rather suffer longer with light weights or get it over and lift heavier, you decide?

Cooling down will keep you from getting sore? Nope. The only proven benefit of cooling down is that it helps bring the body back to normal heart rates, breathing and relaxation.

Coffee? Researchers and athletes know the benefits of dark roast, which include being able to lift heavier weights, run faster and farther and feeling less muscle pain during a push for the finish line. Will it dehydrate you? Not according to research coming out of the U of Connecticut. People who drank coffee maintained the same amount of hydration as those who didn’t.

Working out on an empty stomach burns more fat? The fat you burn from muscles during a workout don’t have any impact on the fat on your waistline, at least during your workout. It’s important to have adequate energy in your fuel tank (stomach) in order to have a great workout with its best results.

A six-pack is a sure sign of a strong core? Being able to observe someone’s 6-pack simply means that that person has very little body fat. We all have 6-packs under there somewhere! A strong core involves hips, glutes, lower back and abdominals all working together.

Crunches are the best way to strengthen your core. There are better exercises that put emphasis on your abs without stressing your spine. Three-sided planks and the roll-out and pike are the most effective exercises in activating the abdominal muscles.

Exercising turns fat into muscle? A cell is a cell, and they can never turn into another kind of cell. They are two entirely different kinds of tissue.

Ibuprofen prevents sore muscles. There is no evidence that anti-inflammatory drugs fight muscle soreness, they fight inflammation. The muscle damage that occurs during intense exercise is essential to muscle growth. Research shows that taking anti-inflammatory drugs might impair the recovery process, essentially canceling out strength gains.

Staying off your feet soothes sore muscles? Wrong, you have to move! “Blood contains healing properties,” which occurs with movement; moving increases circulation which loosens tense muscles and relieves soreness.

Exercising at night interferes with sleep? Finnish researchers found that most people who exercise after 8 p.m. fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake up feeling more refreshed than those who exercise earlier. Exercise raises body temperature and the cooling affect you experience by the time you crawl into bed mimics the body natural, nightly drop to induce sleep.

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