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Health, food and wellness from MU Extension Specialist Melissa Bess
12 Common Workout Myths Debunked
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By Melissa Bess
My name is Melissa Bess. I am a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. This health and wellness blog started as a way to help improve MU Extension faculty and staff wellness but has grown to a much larger ...
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MU Extension Health and Wellness
My name is Melissa Bess. I am a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. This health and wellness blog started as a way to help improve MU Extension faculty and staff wellness but has grown to a much larger audience. Follow me, share with others, bookmark this page, leave comments, and enjoy.
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I came across an article in the Huffington Post called "12 Common Workout Myths Debunked" and it was a great summary of a lot of the information that I try to share with individuals who are physically active or wanting to be more active. Here are the 12 myths listed in the article and I have added my commentary after each myth. You will also find more information in the article from the Huffington Post.
  • Sit-ups and crunches are most effective for six pack abs. There are a variety of exercises that will target your core (abs and back) muscles. Core exercises coupled with healthy eating help tone the tummy.
  • Cardio burns the most calories. Cardio may burn more calories while you are doing it, but weight training burns calories during AND after activity. It will help keep your metabolism going long after activity and more muscle burns more calories.
  • Stretching is best before working out. Stretching is best when your body is already warmed up, so start with a simple warm-up (walking or marching in place for 5 minutes) before activity. Stretching can be done as a cool down at the end of activity to help improve flexibility and help prevent soreness.
  • Weight lifting will bulk you up. Women will not bulk up from a regular weight training program. Our bodies do not have the testosterone to do this. Weight lifting will help burn calories and tone our muscles so do not be afraid to challenge yourself with weight training. No need to avoid heavier weights either, if a weight does not feel difficult after about 8-12 repetitions, it is not heavy enough.
  • You need eight glasses of water daily. Listen to your thirst and drink accordingly. Pay attention to the color of your urine (it should be very light yellow to clear) and if it is too dark, you need more fluids. Replacing higher calorie beverages (soda, sweet tea, energy drinks) with water can also help with weight loss efforts.
  • Go gluten-free to lose weight. Gluten-free products are not necessarily healthier than products with gluten and it certainly is not necessary to avoid gluten unless you have a medical reason. Gluten-free products may have more sugar than products with gluten.
  • It's too late to get in shape. It is never too late to start being physically active, even if you start with 5-10 minutes a day and work up from there. Set goals for yourself and see what progress you can make.
  • You need a long workout. A workout lasting 20-30 minutes can be just an effective as a longer workout, provided you are using your time efficiently. An even shorter workout is better than no workout at all.
  • You need a gym membership to get results. A gym works for some people, but there are many exercises you can do at home or outside. Walking in a park or doing an exercise DVD at home are easy ways to stay active without a gym membership. You can also do many weight exercises and stretches at home, including push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges, etc.
  • If you are not in pain, you are not working hard enough. Soreness is common after activity, but too much is not a good thing. Too much could mean injury or that you overdid it. It is best to listen to your body and stop before pain occurs.
  • You can spot reduce fat. You do not have a lot of choices on where the fat comes off when it does. The best way to reduce overall fat is by eating healthy and physical activity, but where it comes off it not up to us. You can tone muscles in certain areas but doing activities for those muscles, but that will not affect the fat.
  • More exercise is always better. Rest is necessary to help the body recover and rebuild. Too many intense sessions do not allow this to happen and can also burn you out.
Reference:
12 Common Workout Myths Debunked

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