Myths and facts about exercise

Is there really a better time to exercise? Will lifting weights make you bulk up? Does muscle really turn to fat when you stop exercising? Do longer workouts mean better results? It can be hard to sort the exercise fact from fiction. There are many myths out there about the exercise.

Myth 1: The longer the workout, the better

Longer does not always mean better. The length of your workout should be inversely related to the intensity of it. If you’re doing a low-intensity workout, like a yoga class, it’s ok to spend more time on the mat. However, if you’re doing high-intensity aerobics, stick to a relatively short workout length of 20-30 minutes. It’s all about knowing what your body can safely handle. Working out for hours on end can be more detrimental than helpful.

Myth 2: People who exercise need less sleep

People who exercise need ‘more’ sleep than those who don’t. However, one of the benefits of regular exercise is that you are going to fall asleep faster and you are going to sleep more deeply, so you are going to have more restful sleep.

Myth 3: Exercising after meals is better than before

Exercising before or after meals is okay; the main thing to consider is that you do not skip meals and that you leave enough time for digestion before your workout. For a large meal this could mean about 3-4 hours, and for a small meal about 2-3 hours. However, some people can snack right before a workout as well, so it really depends on the individual.

Myth 4: You have to exercise for 20 minutes in order to burn fat

False! Each one of us has a different point where our bodies start burning fat. This is partly determined by genetics but mostly by fitness level, time and intensity of the workout. What matters at the end of the day is that exercising allows you to burn calories and if you burn more calories than you take in you will lose weight. Any physical activity has an impact on burning calories so every time you move, it’s worth it.

Myth 5: Walking isn’t good exercise

Walking is a great form of exercise and can be effective at improving overall health for many individuals. Walking improves cardiovascular factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure; protects against obesity and diabetes; and protects against depression. The best part about walking is that it’s light on the joints and can be done every day, virtually anywhere. Walking is an ideal mode of transportation and a great way to expend extra calories throughout the day.