Exercise – you either love it or hate it. We’d all like to be strong, fit and athletic, but let’s face it – most of us aren’t. If you suffer with exercise-guilt, then fret not because you certainly aren’t the only one: Nine out ten of us stop going to the gym within 3 months of joining!
With only 40% of us managing to do the recommended amount of exercise, so be sure to check out these commonly-held exercise myths before you start to dust off your old trainers…
Fitness Myth 1: Exercise will make you Thin
Spring has sprung, and T-shirts and strappy vests have made a comeback. If you were planning on exercising yourself slim in time for summer, then here’s some simple advice – don’t bother! Exercising to lose weight sounds like a good idea, and it should make sense: Working-out burns off calories, meaning less of what you eat gets turned into fat. However, science has shown that the reality is really quite different. It might shock you to learn that to burn off just one pound of fat will mean running from Leeds to Nottingham (or 70 miles)!
Sadly, it doesn’t get any better when it comes to sweet indulgences either; cancelling out that extra doughnut will take you nearly two hours of cycling. Exercise is fantastic for getting fitter, stronger and healthier; but sadly, getting slim is extremely unlikely unless combined with a calorie-controlled diet.
Fitness Myth 2: More is always betterCelebrities like Madonna and Elle Macpherson have proved that even 40 and 50-somethings can have a stick-thin physique. But these high-profile waifs are almost certainly wreaking havoc on their body with their gruelling regimes. Extreme-exercising could ultimately leave you with heart problems, arthritis and even hormone and fertility problems. Worryingly, some estimates have calculated world-class athletes to have a life-expectancy of 67 – which is ten years less than what it should be!
If you’re walking, running or cycling for more than five miles a day then be advised, because you could be over-stressing your body. It’s essential to make sure you get plenty of rest between workouts and if in doubt chat things over with a qualified personal trainer.
Fitness Myth 3: Getting fit means Early Mornings
Had you realised that the time of day makes a difference to how easy it is to exercise? Serious swimmers are known for heading to the pool before sunrise for a quick 50 lengths before starting their day. New research casts doubt on whether this is a sensible routine. It has been discovered that our bodies are programmed to exercise best between the hours of 4 and 5 in the afternoon. So, head down the gym early afternoon if you want to get the most out of your workout. Now if that isn’t a good excuse to leave work early, I don’t know what is…
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Research Shows Skinny People at Risk of Diabetes!
How much exercise should you be doing? Click here to find out (NHS)
Could you be over-exercising? (The Times)
Online Exercise Calorie Counter available here (WebMD)
Curioni, C., & Lourenço, P. (2005). Long-term weight loss after diet and exercise: a systematic review International Journal of Obesity, 29 (10), 1168-1174 DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803015
Lehmann MJ, Lormes W, Opitz-Gress A, Steinacker JM, Netzer N, Foster C, & Gastmann U (1997). Training and overtraining: an overview and experimental results in endurance sports. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 37 (1), 7-17 PMID: 9190120
Hill, D., Cureton, K., & Collins, M. (1989). Circadian specificity in exercise training Ergonomics, 32 (1), 79-92 DOI: 10.1080/00140138908966069