Common Exercise Myths

There are four main common exercise myths

Myth 1 - I don't need to warm up

Warm Up stretching is vitalPersonally I hate warming up, particularly stretching. However a warm-up raises your body temperature and prepares the body for exercise and is a vital part of sport, particularly as you get older. Ideally you need to stretch all your main muscle groups, with a focus on your hamstrings and calves. Lower back and core is also important. Not doing a proper warm-up dramatically increases your chances of injury, case closed!

Myth 2 - Sit-ups and ab crunches will get rid of the fat on your belly

We hate to say it, but exercising one area intensely or 'spot training' as it is technically referred to, doesn't work. You could spend all year doing sit-ups and you will still have a 'kebab' belly. The only way to lose the spare tyre, thunder thighs, bingo-wings, love handles, cankles, spare chins, man boobs and general areas of fat are increased cardio training, strength training (muscle buidling/toning and decreasing snacking. So get on the treadmill and stop looking at yourself in the mirror...

Myth 3 - Excercise just works the body

Maintaining a regular exercise programme will not only look after your body, but have a huge affect on your mental well-being. One of the biggest benefits of exercising regularly is that it increases your energy and boosts your mood (endorphins). My girlfriend becomes a very pleasant person after a gym session, and you will find that you are too.

Myth 4 - Weight lose means dieting

The equation is simple:

Weight = calories in vs calories out

If you overeat and take on too many calories whilst under-exercise, you will put on weight, unless you have some crazy metabolic rate, in which case most people strongly dislike you...But you can change the calorie formula around by eating sensibly (e.g. lots of fruit and veg) and becoming more active. It's actually surprisingly simple.

By Sam Parton

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