Article written by Brooke Pitman, Physical Therapy Assistant at PTLW
With the New Year upon us, many of us are motivated to make improvements in our health by living more active lifestyles. Below are a few of the common exercise myths and explanations of how you can reach your fitness goals.
- Lower intensity cardio burns more fat– FALSE! In order for the body to burn fat, it must first use up the available carbohydrates. A higher intensity workout will burn more carbs and more calories. Ultimately, it is the calories that determine the amount of fat that is lost. Instead of burning out your lungs and legs on the treadmill, balance your cardio workout with strength training.
- Strength training will make me too bulky– NOT TRUE! Heavier weights with fewer reps will build strength through hypertrophy (bigger muscle fibers) while less weight with more reps will increase muscular endurance without the bulk.
- Stretching is a waste of time- DEFINITELY NOT! Stretching won’t necessarily cause you to recover faster but it is an important component in preventing injury or re-injury. Start with low intensity active warm-up then include stretching before or after the workout. A combination of static and dynamic stretches will allow your joints and muscles to work through a safe range of motion.
- Workouts must be long in duration in order to see any benefits- NO WAY! The CDC recommends that adults participate in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week; that’s just 22 minutes a day! If 22 minutes still seems like a long time, then break it up into even smaller chunks. Two bouts of 11 minutes are just as effective as one bout of 22.
- Crunches are the best exercise for strengthening abs- NOPE! Excessive amounts of crunches reinforce poor posture and can lead to lower back strain. Opt for moves like planks, side planks, and boat pose. These moves are great for targeting your deep and superficial core muscles and as an added bonus may help ward off low back pain.
Do not be fooled by these 5 common exercise myths. Use the additional information provided to guide your workouts and build healthy habits. Call us if you have any questions or concerns at (303)952-5053