Common Misconceptions about Exercise

It could be something you learned as a child, a tip from your co-worker, or advice you read online. However, just because someone said it or because a lot of people believe it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Read on to learn the truth behind five popular exercise myths.

Myth #1: Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky

The fact is, men and women are created differently, which prevents this from happening. The testosterone in men’s bodies enable them to bulk up and build muscle faster in response to strength training, but estrogen keeps women’s bodies from having this effect. Rather than bulking up, lifting weights helps women burn calories, lose weight, support healthy bones, and increase their amount of lean muscle, all which are desired results.

Myth #2: You Can Spot Reduce

Many people mistakenly believe that by doing exercises that target trouble areas like your belly, arms or thighs that they’ll see the results they want. Crunches to reveal six pack abs, dips to dissolve upper arm flab, or squats to thin the thighs unfortunately don’t work on their own. Yes, exercises tone underlying muscle, but until the outer layers of fat are gone you won’t see a difference. Lose the fat by eating a healthy diet and burning extra calories through regular cardio and strength-training exercise.

Myth #3: No Pain, No Gain

Sweat, tears, over-exertion, and pain aren’t what it takes to benefit from exercise. Discomfort is expected, but your body should never feel pain during a workout. Pain during or after exercise is a signal you’re doing something wrong or that you’re already injured. It also increases your likelihood of quitting. So disregard the advice to work through the pain. Rest until the pain subsides and if it doesn’t, see your doctor.

Myth #4: Exercise Means I Can Eat Whatever I Want

Just because you ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes this morning doesn’t mean you’re okay to eat a double cheeseburger for lunch. Your diet actually plays a larger role in weight control and overall health than exercise.

Myth #5: Stretching Helps Prevent Injury

Regular stretching improves circulation, reduces stress, and increases range of motion. But static stretching (holding a stretch for 10, 20, or 30 seconds) prior to exercise has been found ineffective at preventing injury and delayed onset muscle soreness. Static stretches should be done after exercise when your muscles have had a chance to warm up. The best way to warm up your muscles before exercise is with dynamic stretching, which involves moving your muscles and joints through their entire range of motion.

How to Tell when Your Workout is Too Easy


Talking on the phone while working out

Answering “No” to one or more of these questions, you may not be getting the most out of your workout.

Did You Break a Sweat?
Even if you’re exercising outdoors in the winter it’s normal to sweat during a challenging workout. If you consistently feel dry and fresh after your workouts, chances are you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. It’s true that some people tend to sweat less than others no matter what the temperature, but try to pick up the pace to the extent your body gets heated to the point it needs to cool itself through sweating.

Do You Try New Workouts?
Doing the same workout day in and day out will cause your body to adapt. You may love riding a stationary bike but after a while your body reaches a place where it’s no longer challenged and your calorie burn slows down. Switch things up every other day so your exercise program includes cardio exercise, strength-training activities, and flexibility exercises. Then every month try a new type of exercise. Instead of the stationary bike, try the treadmill or go swimming.

Do You Have Trouble Finishing All Your Sets and Reps?
Many of the benefits offered by strength training come from gradually increasing the amount of stress placed on your muscles. When you’re able to lift weights with little or no difficulty, your muscles aren’t getting much of a workout. If you’re able to lift your last rep as effortlessly as your first, take it as a sign that your workout is too easy. As you lift, use enough weight to make it a struggle to complete your reps, but not to the point your form is compromised.

Do You Feel Winded When You Talk During Exercise?
Exercising with a partner is a great way to keep you accountable and enjoy your workout. But if you find yourself able to talk comfortably the entire workout, you’re likely not pushing yourself hard enough. The amount you’re able to talk is one way to gage the intensity of your workout. At a moderate level it’s possible to carry on a conversation but only in chopped up, small phrases as you’re trying to catch your breath. In the midst of high-intensity exercise, speaking more than a word or two won’t be possible.

Do You Exercise Without Distractions?
Watching television or reading a book while jogging on the treadmill may help you exercise longer and make your workout more enjoyable, but distractions also have the potential to keep you from focusing on the challenge at hand. Make sure you’re not too engrossed in your entertainment to the point it prevents you from reaching your full potential.

How did you do? 

It’s Time to get Outside and Exercise!

Finally the warmer weather is here, and it is a perfect time to ramp up your fitness outside. Exercising outdoors is a great way to supplement your gym routine. From cycling, and hiking to running, and walking the options are endless to bring your fitness out into the open air.

Spring Outdoor Workout







Benefits of outdoor exercise

• Increases your vitamin D intake
• Improves concentration
• Natural light will elevate your mood
• Mixing it up keeps it challenging and fun
• If you have a pet, they can benefit too

Remember to dress appropriately in layers if needed, wear sunscreen and always exercise where you feel safe.

Worried about seasonal allergies? Check out this outdoor exercise checklist from WebMD.