6 Myths About Physical Activity
Don’t believe everything you hear when it comes to exercise. Dispel the myths before working out, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your routine.
While some fitness myths, such as “no pain, no gain,” are fading fast, many myths about exercise still exist. Here are some common ones and the truth about them.
1. Physical activity only counts if you do it for long periods
You don’t need to be active for prolonged periods to get the amount of recommended physical activity, which is at least 150 minutes, or 2 hours and 30 minutes, of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
An example of moderate-intensity activity is brisk walking. You can spread these sessions out over the week and even do short, 10-minute spurts of activity 3 times a day on 5 or more days a week. Remember, any amount of physical activity counts! If you can’t hit the recommended 150 minutes a week right away, it’s okay! Some physical activity is better than none.
2. Lifting weights is not a good way to improve your health or lose weight because it will make you “bulk up”
Lifting weights or doing other weight-training activities 2 or 3 days a week that may help you build strong muscles, such as push-ups and some types of yoga, will not bulk you up. Only intense strength training, along with certain genes, can build large muscles.
Like other kinds of physical activity, muscle-strengthening activities will help improve your health and may help you control your weight by increasing the amount of energy-burning muscle. It’s also important for increasing or maintaining bone density.
3. Exercise is a waste of time unless you work out hard and often
This kind of thinking keeps a lot of people from sticking to an exercise program. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, five times a week is all you need to maintain your weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Walking, bicycling, and swimming are all good ways to exercise at a modest pace.
4. Yoga is a completely gentle and safe workout
Some forms of yoga are physically and mentally difficult. While injuries are rare, staying in certain positions can cause nerve damage or back pain. Avoiding certain postures and changing others can make yoga safer for most healthy people — even pregnant women.
As with any exercise, proper instruction is needed for a safe workout. If you have a health condition or are pregnant, talk with your doctor or Care Team before trying yoga.
5. You can lose all the weight you want just by exercising
Increasing physical activity is just one part of a successful weight-loss plan. You need to change your eating habits, too. How many pounds you lose may also depend on your genes and what works for one person may not work for another. Still, exercise is an important part of any weight-loss program, and it offers many other health benefits.
6. You can “spot reduce” certain areas of your body
Truth be told, you can do a ton of crunches and sit-ups and never get chiseled abs. It’s not possible to specifically burn off fat from one area of your body. Regular cardio exercise, strength training, and a healthy diet is the best way to get rid of extra body fat.
Source: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention