9 Common Myths About Exercise
Exercise advice can be misleading. Here are nine familiar fitness directives that may be unnecessary or even counterproductive.
Stretch beforehand to prevent injuries.
Many of us learned in gym class or little league that static stretching, such as reaching for your toes and holding the stretch, before activity can prevent injury. But research has generally failed to support the idea. What’s more, pre-exercise static stretches may even do harm by impairing performance. One possible reason is that a looser muscle acts like an overstretched slingshot, generating less force than one that’s taut. Another theory is that stretching “cold” muscles damages them.A better approach is to warm up and then do dynamic stretches, such as arm or leg swings, which involve movement. Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching primes muscles for action and may improve performance. In a study of young and middle-aged men, for example, vertical jump heights increased after dynamic stretching, while they declined after static stretching.Save static stretching for after exercise, when your muscles are warm. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. You should feel tightness or slight discomfort, but not pain.
Exercise on an empty stomach to burn more fat.
The rationale behind doing aerobic exercise on an empty stomach, a practice known as “fasted cardio,” is that when carbohydrate stores in the body are depleted, you burn mainly fat. In addition, when insulin levels are low, which is the case when you fast, you burn more fat.Indeed there’s some evidence that fasted cardio may boost fat burning—but only fleetingly. Over the course of days or weeks (which is what counts), research shows that fasted cardio doesn’t offer any advantages. In a four-week trial that randomly assigned young women to either fast or drink a 250-calorie shake before their aerobic workouts, while otherwise eating a low-calorie diet, both groups lost the same amount of fat and weight.Indeed there’s some evidence that fasted cardio may boost fat burning—but only fleetingly. Over the course of days or weeks (which is what counts), research shows that fasted cardio doesn’t offer any advantages. In a four-week trial that randomly assigned young women to either fast or drink a 250-calorie shake before their aerobic workouts, while otherwise eating a low-calorie diet, both groups lost the same amount of fat and weight.
Monitor your heart rate during exercise.
To measure exercise intensity, some programs have people wear heart-rate monitors and stay within a particular zone. Many gyms and cardio machines display charts showing what your target heart rate should be.The problem is that these targets are dependent upon your maximum heart rate (MHR), which is notoriously hard to measure on your own. The conventional way is to subtract your age from 220. But that formula is too simplistic and often yields flawed results, especially in older people. Other formulas have been shown to be lacking as well. If your MHR estimate is off, your target zone will be too high or too low.While people with medical conditions may require a heart-rate monitor during activity, most of us can use a simpler method to gauge intensity: a scale from 1 to 10 that measures how hard you feel your body is working overall. A 5 or 6 indicates moderate intensity, and a 7 or higher means vigorous activity.Perhaps the easiest method is the talk test. If you can talk and sing during your activity without becoming breathless, the intensity level is low. If you can talk but not sing, the intensity is moderate. And if you can say only a few words before having to catch your breath, you’re doing vigorous exercise.
Hold weights when you walk.
Carrying small dumbbells or wearing wrist weights seems, in theory, like a good way to boost the intensity of your walks while also working your upper body. In fact, adding weight does burn more calories. But there’s a problem. The light weights that people often use for walking typically burn too few extra calories to really matter. And heavier weights necessary for meaningful calorie burning may alter your natural arm swing and increase the risk of injuries.A better option may be to walk with poles. The practice, sometimes called Nordic walking or exerstriding, originated in Finland as an off-season training method for cross-country skiers. Research suggests that pole walking works upper body and abdominal muscles, allows you to walk faster and burns more calories than regular walking—all without making you feel as though you’re working harder. In addition, unlike weights, which may put stress on your joints, pole walking takes pressure off your knees, hips and lower back.
Buy running shoes based on your foot type.
Running shoes come in several categories, each designed for a different foot type. Stability shoes are for runners whose feet roll inward excessively or “overpronate” when they land, while motion control shoes are intended for those who have flat feet and are severe overpronators. Neutral shoes are designed for runners with high arches who don’t overpronate or who underpronateFor years it’s been widely assumed that overpronation leads to injuries and that using the right shoe can reduce the risk. But research has called these beliefs into question. In a study of more than 900 novice runners, all were instructed to use the same model of neutral shoes regardless of their foot type. Surprisingly, the runners with overpronated feet experienced fewer injuries than those with neutral feet, even though the overpronators were using the “wrong” shoe.This study comes on the heels of other research showing that assigning shoes based on foot type does not reduce injury risk. While a stability or motion control shoe may be the best choice for some people, your best bet is likely a neutral shoe that’s comfortable.
Drink even when you’re not thirsty.
Conventional wisdom (much of it influenced by makers of sports beverages) asserts that you should “stay ahead of your thirst” before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration. But studies show that for most people, thirst is a reliable indicator of when you need more fluid, even during exercise.Research suggests that dehydration isn’t always the threat that it’s portrayed to be. Contrary to popular belief, it’s generally not a cause of exercise-related muscle cramps or heat illness. And studies involving competitive cyclists have found that mild dehydration doesn’t impair exercise performance. What’s more, drinking only when thirsty results in better performance than does chugging constantly.Though you want to make sure to consume enough water, especially if you’re older or exercising in the heat, a bigger problem than dehydration may be drinking too much during exercise. If you take in so much fluid that your body can’t get rid of the excess, sodium levels can become dangerously low. The resulting condition, known as hyponatremia or water intoxication, is potentially fatal. To head it off, simply drink when you’re thirsty.
Check the color of your pee to see whether you’re dehydrated.
You’ve likely heard that urine ideally should be pale yellow and that the darker it is, the more you’re dehydrated. It turns out the science behind such guidance isn’t so clear. In a review of the evidence, researchers debunked the notion that urine color is an accurate marker of hydration. Part of the problem is that some foods (such as beets and carrots) can affect the color of urine, as can certain vitamins. Ditto for some medications and dietary supplements. What’s more, striving for pale pee could cause some people to overhydrate themselves during exercise and develop hyponatremia.If you’re concerned that your workout routine is leaving you dehydrated, try weighing yourself without clothes before and after exercise. If you lose up to a few pounds, you’re likely okay. If you lose more than that, you may want to increase your fluid intake. If, on the other hand, you gain weight, you may be drinking too much.
Eat afterward to refuel.
While you’ve probably heard that downing protein within an hour or so after strength training is necessary to maximize gains, the research on this is mixed. The science is even less conclusive on whether eating protein after aerobic exercise is beneficial.Consuming carbohydrates after exercise may help endurance athletes, especially if they have another training session later in the day. Some research suggests that chocolate milk is an ideal recovery food for such athletes because of its ratio of carbohydrates to protein. But for the rest of us who do a typical exercise routine of walking or running for 30 to 60 minutes, there’s generally no need to refuel with chocolate milk or anything else. In fact, if you’re watching your weight, adding calories after your workouts—without reducing them sufficiently elsewhere in your diet—could undermine your efforts.
Avoid sex before competition.
Abstinence from sex has long been considered essential for success in sports. As Rocky Balboa’s trainer put it in the movie Rocky, “women weaken legs.” But research has yielded little support for the belief. One study, which involved former male athletes, measured grip strength the morning after they’d had sex with their wives and then repeated the test after the men had abstained for at least six days. There were no differences in test results.Overall, the research suggests that sex before physical activity doesn’t have negative effects as long as there’s a lag of at least two hours and the sexual activity doesn’t also involve alcohol, drugs or sleep loss. In fact, it’s possible that sex may even enhance athletic performance by helping people relax.It’s unknown whether women are affected differently than men. The impact likely varies from person to person, so if you’re wondering how pre-game sex affects your golf score or your 5K race time, you‘ll need to do your own experiment and see for yourself.Adapted from TIME Health Magazine at http://time.com/4779651/exercise-myths-heart-rate/?xid=homepage
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Do you have a job that keeps you sitting at your desk all day? Do you commute for long periods of time? Do you get home and just want to lay in bed and watch some TV?
That’s what life is like for most people in America. We drive to work, sit at our desk all day, drive back home and then sit down to wind down after a long day of work.
Hopefully, somewhere in the midst of all of that you are fitting in some exercise!
I’ve been reading a book called “Fitter Faster” by Health Journalist Robert J Davis and Certified Personal Trainer Brad Kolowich, Jr., which discusses this, and I wanted to share it with you all.
Can Sitting Cancel Out the Benefits of Exercise?
By Robert J. Davis, Ph.D.
Author of Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day
Adapted from Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day (AMACOM) by Robert J. Davis with Brad Kolowich, Jr. For more information, please visit https://fitterfasterplan.com/
You’ve probably heard the trendy phrase that “sitting is the new smoking.” While it’s an exaggeration to equate the two behaviors—nothing comes close to smoking in its many ruinous and deadly effects on the body—research does show that prolonged sitting may be harmful, even if you exercise regularly.
Pooling results from more than 40 studies, researchers concluded that the more time people spend on their duffs—whether at a desk, on the couch, or in the car—the greater their risk of premature death, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and especially type 2 diabetes.
Regular exercise, particularly higher levels of physical activity, appears to blunt these harmful effects somewhat but may not eliminate them entirely.
An analysis of more than a dozen studies concluded that we need at least 60 minutes a day of moderately intense exercise (such as brisk walking, doubles tennis, or ballroom dancing) to counter the increased risk of premature death due to prolonged sitting.
But another study found that the same amount of exercise – which is more than most physically active people get – doesn’t undo the negative effects of sitting on insulin levels and blood fats known as triglycerides.
The damage from prolonged sitting is thought to be due to reduced muscle activity—especially in the large muscles of the legs and back—which can decrease the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and remove harmful blood fats.
Sitting for long periods may also adversely affect blood vessel function and increase food cravings, causing us to eat more and gain weight.
To reduce sitting time:
- At work, stand up for a few minutes every half hour, perhaps during phone calls, coffee breaks, or meetings.
- If possible, use a desk that lets you work both standing and seated. Or try one attached to a treadmill that allows you to slowly walk while you work.
- In the car, park as far away as possible from the door so you’ll be able to walk more. Stand if you ride the bus or subway.
- At home, get up regularly from your computer. Try standing and doing chores while watching TV.
Incorporating short bursts of standing and movement like this will keep you from becoming an “active couch potato” – someone who exercises and then remains largely sedentary the rest of the time.
By thinking of fitness as something that entails what you do the entire day – not just the relatively few minutes spent sweating – you’ll be able to fully reap the rewards of your workouts.
Adapted from Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day (AMACOM) by Robert J. Davis with Brad Kolowich, Jr. For more information, please visit www.fitterfasterplan.com.
Adapted from http://www.easylivingtoday.com/can-sitting-cancel-out-the-benefits-of-exercise/
We hope you all enjoyed this wonderful article!
Make sure to check out FITTER FASTER in Time Magazine’s Special Edition, “The Science of Exercise”
On news stand until July!
From health journalist Davis and personal trainer Kolowich comes this precise guide to overcoming fitness barriers and exercising efficiently via high-intensity interval and circuit training. Davis and Kolowich break down the process of getting fit into four key parts: get ready, get smart, get more out of exercise, and get going. They begin with motivational facts: in addition to increasing life expectancy and improving health, exercise also enables better sex and sleep, among other benefits. Instead of providing specific motivation plans, the authors provide thoughtful advice that is widely applicable: make a game plan, make winning a goal, and reward yourself. Part two details the fundamentals of aerobic activity, strength training, and stretching, and part three gives instructions on what to consume (protein, complex carbs, water) and how to prevent “bad pain.” The final section presents a varied, customizable workout regimen that can also be done in as little as 15 minutes. What separates this guide from others is its commitment to facts and plans backed by science and research; throughout, the authors debunk myths and answer questions such as “Does sex before physical activity impair athletic performance?” and “Does more sweating mean a more intense workout?” This is an important read for exercise hopefuls and aficionados alike. (June)
Book Review found on: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8144-3771-1
Enter the Giveaway for your chance to win FITTER FASTER for free! To enter, click the image below:
Availability: 2 copies available
Giveaway dates: April 13 – May 01, 2017
Countries available: US
Format: Print Book
You don’t want to miss this awesome opportunity to win your copy of FITTER FASTER for FREE! We are so excited to share this amazing book with you all!
Have a great Tuesday!
Spring has sprung and it’s soon swimsuit season. After having eaten your way through winter, you decide it’s time to PANIC. Well, calm down and grab a copy of Fitter Faster by Robert Davis and Brad Kolowich. Here the authors lay out a very doable plan to help
you jump start your fitness regime.
Nothing they suggest you do is cumbersome and they are not judgemental. The authors outline “a smart way to get in shape in just minutes a day.” And no, they do not promise you that you are going to spend 10 minutes a day exercising, and end up looking like a Victoria Secrets model. But they will help you create a plan for yourself so that you can end up healthy, happy, and be the best that you can be.
The authors discuss eating and how to get the most out of your diet. They don’t starve you, but turn you on to foods that benefit your body. They teach the reader how to eat and when to eat.
They discuss that heart muscle and put to rest some old wives tales. They talk about the biggest curse of our era, and that is sitting all day long. They point out how even the simplest change in the way we live our lives can have a lasting beneficial effect and they tell you why.
You are taught the benefits of good gear. The right gear does make a difference. If for nothing else it prevents injury. Listen, having the right sneakers keeps you from hurting your legs, your feet, and very importantly your knees. They take the reader through the latest fads, and discuss what you should and should not buy.
The authors discuss how to make exercising fun as they outline which type of exercise might just be for you. They go through popular forms of cardio with an eye to making sure that you will stick with the program.They help you be realistic in your approach and your goals.
Then in the end, they outline for you beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercise programs from weight training, to cardio, to strength, to the latest HIIT (high intensity interval training) and plyometrics, beginning with that all important stretch. You choose the level you want to work at, as you follow their seven day chart. Don’t worry on the seventh day you get to rest.
If you are a beginner, even if you are advanced, this book will jump start any program and turn your old bored program into something new again.
“I’m not ready for swimsuit season. I’m too nervous to workout in a group fitness setting. I’m not as in shape as other people in group fitness classes.” Guess what? You can conquer your fears and you can have fun doing it! You deserve to feel great and you deserve to feel confident!
Swimsuit season is right around the corner, and we are here to help you feel your best yet! Join us for our deluxe Spring Into Your Summer Body group fitness classes, coming this month. We have 3 full body workout classes planned, open to all levels of training. While each class is a group fitness class, we want each of you to focus on YOU and only YOU in our classes. We are so excited to see you there!
Saturday, April 15
Saturday, April 22
Saturday, April 29
9:00am – 9:45am
$25 per class
Buy 2 classes, get 1 free
Brad Kolowich Jr Personal Training Studio
Sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
KoloFit Training Studio
1465 Chattahoochee Ave.
Atlanta, Ga. 30318