Everyone wants to improve themselves and become more fit. Whether it is from a desire within ourselves or a doctor imposed order to improve our health, we all turn to exercise at one time or another. But before you tie on your trainers and begin, let’s get a few things straightened out. Whether you are an exercise pro or a novice to the whole concept of a workout routine, there are a few major myths floating around that you need to be aware of-a few untruths that need to be revealed…
Myth #1: Weight Loss is the Main Goal
When deciding to begin an exercise routine, the main goal that most people set for themselves is to lose weight. It is true that once an exercise routine is started the pounds begin to melt off. This is natural as calories are burned that weren’t used before. But then after a few weeks, people tend to see their weight stay the same and decide to give up; defeating themselves. This is because they put more importance on their weight than on their health. Most of the benefits of exercise cannot be measured on the weight scale. Instead, our main goal for exercise should be to become healthier. Exercise does reduce weight; it also reduces the risks to more important health hazards such as heart attack, diabetes and high blood pressure levels. The weight will come off as we become more fit, but our main goal should be our health not just weight alone.
Myth #2: 30-45 Minutes of Daily Exercise is All That is Needed
It is true that a daily workout of 30-45 minutes a day will improve your health. But that is not all that is needed. To see improvement in your quality of life a healthy diet and a more active lifestyle must also be adopted and maintained. Exercise is extremely beneficial and a safe workout routine should always be employed; however, if you do not make healthy changes to your daily lifestyle your workout will offer little change to your body’s overall health.
Myth #3: No Pain, No Gain
This is a very common myth perpetrated by advertisement campaigns. It is so widely known that society believes it as real! But experts agree that this is not only a myth but can also cause a lot of harm. It is common to feel a little pain the day or two after exercising. This is just your muscles reaction to working out. However, if you are experiencing pain while you are exercising, your routine is hurting your body and you need to change. The main purpose of exercise is to improve your body and your health. It is not meant to be painful. If it is painful then it is either being done wrong or there is already an injury that needs to be addressed. You should never work through the pain. If pain is experienced, then stop and take a rest. If the pain does not go away, then you need to seek medical attention.
Myth #4: If it Doesn’t Hurt, It’s Safe
A common belief is that if it doesn’t hurt while your exercising then you are not overdoing it. This is a myth because some effects of muscle trauma may not be felt until a day or two after your workout. Instead, start out slow and build your workout over time. Keep to the same amount of exercise for a week or two then add more reps, time or types of exercise to your regular routine. Also, it is important to remember that if you are returning to an exercise routine after having set out for a while, start out small and build. Do not pick up where you left off and expect your muscles to handle the strain. To keep your body in top operating form, and pain free, you need to rebuild again.
Myth #5: Machines Provide a Safer Workout
This myth is commonly believed because machines can be adjusted to different settings. Also some believe that calisthenics may not provide the challenge that your body needs to give it a proper workout. The myth in this reasoning lies in the machine’s settings. We tend to want to challenge ourselves with weights that are too taxing, speeds and resistance that are just too intense for our bodies to handle. This risks injury and muscle strain that can set an exercise regime back for days or even weeks. For machines to be most effective, we should have a trainer there to help us adjust the settings according to our physical limitations to provide us the best workout for our individual needs.
People are as different as night and day. Good common sense should always be used when customizing our individual exercise regimen. What works for one person might not work for another. The key goals should be to become healthy and stay safe. To optimize our bodies, we are beginning something that should stay with us the rest of our lives. Take it slow and safe. Build over time. Your body and overall health will thank you in the years to come.