Additional Exercise Myths That Hamper Our Fitness Progress

May 5, 2014 in Our News & Bulletins by Integrity Rehab

To round up our series of posts on exercise myths, see below for the rest of Consumer Reports list. These are other common myths that hold people back from achieving their fitness goals.

MYTH: A pedometer is all you need to track your exercise.

Pedometers are great for quantifying daily activity and setting goals.  However, they do not reflect exercise quality or intensity.  If you want to quantify your exercise routine in this way, consider a heart monitor to track intensity.  Setting a target heart rate that you will maintain for a number of minutes may be more likely to keep you on track than counting steps.

MYTH: You don’t have to lift weights.

We’re not so sure about Consumer Reports’ take on this one.  They point out that strength is critical for older adults to help prevent age-related bone and muscle loss, both of which can lead to falls and other serious injuries.  Strengthening muscles decreases your body fat percentage and causes your body to burn more calories while at rest.  They also point out that women should not worry about getting bulky from lifting weights, as bulky muscles are very difficult to achieve in women.  While all of this is true, we should point out that weights are only one way to strengthen muscles.  There are also elastic bands, squats, Yoga, Tai Chi, and a host of other techniques that may strengthen muscles.  Perhaps their point should have been to “remember strength training in your exercise repertoire.”

MYTH: You should stretch before exercise to avoid injury.

Research suggests that stretching cold muscles has zero injury prevention benefit.  However, being limber does prevent injury.  Stretching warm muscles better promotes limberness.

MYTH: The calorie counters on exercise machines are accurate.

The only way the calorie counters on machines are likely to be accurate is if you input your height, weight, and sex.  Experts suggest burning 1,000 calories per week through exercise, but doing less can still have considerable benefits.


Exercise Myth Finale