Four biggest exercise myths

Exercise is good for you and those who want to be healthy surely will embrace some kind of fitness routine. But don’t be fooled. Not all routines are worth your while. Here are four big mistakes many people make.

1. Weight-loss through burning calories

Did you know that the law of thermodynamics, i.e. calories in and calories out has never been proven?

Exercise facilitates weight loss through hormone stabilisation and detoxification, but eating a good diet of quality, natural whole-foods is the most important component. The calories burned are irrelevant as physical activity increases appetite. Unless you adjust the dietary calories accordingly you may not see much weight loss. 

2. Walking is an excellent exercise

Walking is an activity, but not an exercise unless your health has deteriorated to the point that walking has become strenuous. Exercise requires intent and intensity, it has to be challenging. Proper exercise needs to include brief and periodic maximal physical exertion. Routines such as Tabata and HIIT have proven to be extremely favourable for insulin stabilisation, whereas a steady aerobic pace like jogging actually has a negative effect.

3. The more the better

Just because human beings have an incredible capacity for physical feats of strength, endurance or flexibility does not make it health promoting. I would argue that extreme lifting leads to joint problems in the long term; extreme endurance feats with prolonged periods of intensity lead to heart damage, which includes valve prolapse and decrease in muscle mass; flexibility required for intense acrobatics and gymnastics leads to joint instability and deformities, which leaves the person in chronic pain and loss of functionality.

4. All in one routines

Avoid all in one routines, the ones that incorporate agility, strength, balance, flexibility and endurance all at the same time. Do you really have to perform military presses while on a balance ball? Such activity might be suited for circus performers, but is not anything anybody would functionally ever encounter in real life. The weird combination can only lead to unnecessary injury.

Sure agility, strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance are signs of youthfulness and athleticism, but one does not have to engage in fads to maintain those. Regular calisthenics, yoga, free weight or kettlebell routines performed with proper form and function can easily satisfy all of the desired attributes.

Many out-of-ordinary routines have spawned from rehab exercises, sports specific training or even to achieve a specific “look” on a movie set. They strive for a very narrow aim, but not all-around health and vitality.

The bottom line

As with everything in life, for optimal health keep it natural and functional. Regularly performed balanced routines are most important.


One Response

  1. lynne July 30, 2013

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