The Top 9 Exercise Lies Many People Believe

The Top 9 Exercise Lies Many People Believe

Get up and go! That’s all it takes, right? Not so fast! Many things that people think are true about exercise are actually wrong. Like anything else, if you don’t do it right, you are unlikely to get the results you expect. So let’s cut the fat and slim on down to the facts.

Lie Number 1. You will always achieve your goals if you stick with your exercise program.

Well, obviously, this depends on your goals and your program. Goals must be realistic and your exercise program must be designed with you in mind. Not everybody responds the same to the same exercise program. Given each of our genetics, it is likely that your personal gains in speed, power and endurance may be very different from that of other people you know.

Lie Number 2. You can lose as much weight as you want just through exercise.

Exercise is very important. But it will not do the job alone. As with all responses to exercise, weight gain or loss is dependent on many factors, including dietary intake and genetics. As discussed above, not everybody will lose the same amount of weight on the same exercise program. Believe it or not, it is possible to be active and still be overweight. You won’t believe how many black belts in karate I have known who were quick, strong and talented, but they just could not lose their beer bellies! Nevertheless, even though exercise by itself probably will not guarantee you reach your desired weight, regular physical activity is one of the most important variables in achieving a healthy and fit body.

Lie Number 3. You will burn more fat with low intensity workouts.

It’s a darn lie! The truth is that you will burn up more calories per minute the faster you move. The problem is that high-intensity exercise may be hard to maintain in the beginning, so most people are not able to exercise very long pushing so hard. Because of this, it is much safer and more practical to start out at a lower intensity and gradually work your way up. In general, the main benefit of low intensity exercise, other than as a starting point, is that it is less stressful on joints. However, the bottom line is that fat reduction depends on the total energy cost or how many calories are used up when exercising.

Lie Number 4. With specific exercises anyone can build their arm muscles or get a six-pack.

It’s just not true. What is true is that specific exercises will definitely tone and strengthen specific areas of your body. But if you have fat there you may not be able to see those strengthened muscles as they are covered with your fat! Not only that, but you cannot control where you will lose fat on your body through dieting or exercise. That is all genetic. That’s why being careful with what and how much you eat goes hand in hand with exercise. It’s a package deal. The good news is that research continues to show that any exercise is better than no exercise. For example, regular walking or even gardening for as little as an hour a week has been shown to help a person feel more energetic and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Lie Number 5. People who are obese are not likely to benefit too much from exercise.

That’s outright nonsense. Everybody benefits from exercise and everybody should consult with their doctor before beginning any workout program. Those who are very overweight probably need much more professional oversight and guidance so they do not try to do too much too quickly. But the truth is that research shows that obese people who participate in regular exercise programs have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than sedentary individuals, regardless of the fact that they are so overweight. Even a little bit of exercise is significantly better than no exercise.

Lie Number 6. If your goal is to lose weight, forget about strength training since it’s going to bulk you up.

Life is about balance. Your body needs cardiovascular exercise, such as aerobics or running, as well as strengthening, through push ups, planks or weight lifting. Strength workouts help increase muscle mass and decrease your body fat ratio. Everyone needs both.

Lie Number 7. Yoga and Tai Chi may be enjoyable but the fitness benefits are still unsubstantiated.

That may have been true years ago. But more recent research clearly illustrates that these exercise forms are quite beneficial in multiple ways. Some of these benefits include, improvements in coordination, flexibility, posture, balance, strength and stress management. Tai Chi has even been shown to help improve fibromyalgia and pain in the lower back.

Lie Number 8. Exercise programs in water are mainly for seniors and the handicapped.

Just because water fitness programs are primarily marketed to the handicapped and seniors, does not mean that they aren’t terrific alternatives for all of us. Water exercise offers many benefits, such as going easier on the joints, but don’t be fooled. These fitness programs can be just as challenging and successful for improving fitness and losing weight as any other. There are many athletes who incorporate water fitness programs into their workouts.

Lie Number 9. The best way to get healthy and lose weight is by going to a gym.

Poppycock! The best workout is one you are going to do! It has to be at least somewhat enjoyable, convenient, easily accessible and affordable. In fact, studies have shown that many people strongly prefer a home-based fitness program for all of these reasons! So ignore the hype about the latest fitness fads and trendy exercise equipment and facilities. Your best workout is what fits into your schedule, budget and needs. Do what works for you. But ya gotta do it!

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Are Your Beauty Products Toxic? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Are Your Beauty Products Toxic? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Many of us try our best to buy the beauty products we find the healthiest and safest for our body. We would opt for products with labels that claim to be “natural” or “chemical-free”. But are these labels actually always what they claim? Do we know if these companies are telling the truth? Are our beauty products actually safe to use? Unfortunately, these claims are not always true. For instance, according to the FDA, hair-straightening products from the company, Brazilian Blowout, contain high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde even though the company claimed that the products were free of it. Yes- that is outrageous.

Although claims made by beauty product companies may not always be true, researchers say that many of the ingredients are actually safe to use, but the lack of data to back those claims is concerning. Russ Hauser, the chair of the department of environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, spent almost 20 years studying different chemicals that include parabens and phthalates. These ingredients belong to a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which can get in the way of the hormonal system and even contribute to issues like infertility, obesity, and huge changes in metabolism. Due to products marketed specifically for certain racial groups, many people of color may be more exposed to these harmful ingredients. For instance, some darker skinned women may regularly use skin lightening creams that contain high levels of mercury. Age is also a concern for all women. The longer that older women have used toxic cosmetic products, the more harmful the effects can be.

The good news is that lawmakers are trying their best to enforce stricter government regulations on these beauty products, but in the meantime it can be hard to understand how to protect yourself from toxic ingredients. Always check your beauty product’s ingredients and avoid using too many products. Buy from well-known sources and be careful when companies claim they use all “natural” ingredients. Always do your research before buying a beauty product because no matter what, your body, skin, and hair deserve the best!

 

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The World of a Fitness Model

The World of a Fitness Model

What do you typically notice as you scroll through images of fitness models on social media? They seem to be living quite the grand life, aren’t they? They’re looking great, and often appear to be posing in their ultra-cute sponsored outfits, in settings with some form of clever product placement, simply enjoying the fruits of a privileged life, right? Wrong. They’re just like the rest of us, and battle their own demons in terms of insecurities and struggles. There’s a lot of hustle behind each of their successes, especially when it comes to upkeep. The upkeep itself is similar, yet also different from that of bodybuilders, as seen in the infographic below by Boston Mobile Dance:

According to a feature on Shape magazine, there’s so much more that goes into being a fitness model. An NYC-based fitness model, Chelsea Aguiar, says that she has been working on loving her own body her whole life, but things were rarely ever rainbows and butterflies. She said that “For every 100 casting calls you go to, you may get two jobs”. A common misconception is that it’s easy for a fitness model to land their gigs because they look so perfect, but many companies don’t necessarily think so for their own set of reasons. Fitness models do get rejected and although at times it can be hard, they learn to get comfortable with this rejection.

Fitness models have their share of insecurities and are not resistant to harsh comments or bullying that they regularly deal with on social media. Fitness models also have to be able to perform like athletes so there is a lot more pressure on them than meets the eye. Aguiar says that it can be both “overwhelming and scary”. There is also no such thing as short-term dieting for fitness models because they always have to consistently stick to a very healthy diet since they can be called for a job ion short notice.

Aguiar also says that “It’s important that as the fitness industry continues to expand, we don’t reinforce misconceptions of what ‘ideal health’ looks like.” She thinks it’s very important for the fitness industry to promote models of all different sizes for more women to become strong and confident. It takes hard work and dedication for a fitness model to earn their success but at the end it’s always worth it, because ultimately their goal is to inspire others to strive to become the best version of themselves.

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Prehistoric Women Were Stronger Than All Of Us!

Prehistoric Women Were Stronger Than All Of Us!

When someone tells you to think of women of the past, what do you imagine? Frail fair maidens in pretty dresses picking flowers? Well not so fast! The women of prehistoric times were fierce! They would have put the Olympians of today to shame, and science proves it.

Bio-archaeologists at Cambridge University have done the unthinkable by comparing old female bones to the bones of female athletes today. According to the results, the women of the past are actually much stronger than female athletes today. They were even stronger than the women in the Cambridge University rowing team. Since the bone is a living tissue that can be tested to see how strong it is by judging the physical impact and strain on it, archaeologists thought it would be best to compare the bones with today’s women’s bones to determine their strength. Although the women from the Neolithic era (about 7,400 to 7,000 years ago) have about the same leg-bone strength as the rowers from Cambridge University, their arm bones are almost 11-16% stronger than the athletes. The women of the Bronze Age (about 4,300 to 3,500 years ago) had about 9%-13% stronger arm bones but 12% weaker leg bones.

Here’s an interesting slide show we came across on Slideshare, which further expands on the lifestyle of Neolithic women:

Researchers believe that the reason why women of the past had much stronger arm strength and about the same leg strength is because at the time, they were in charge of manually planting fields, grinding grains, and harvesting crops using their hands. It’s a lot of heavy labor, which isn’t quite carried out nowadays. Considering the fact that women had many different tasks to do in the past, it is hard to determine exactly which task helped them most to develop strong and healthy bones. One thing for sure though is that all the tasks relate to repetitive physical labor. Although the women of the past were not generally thought to be athletic, turns out that they actually possessed the strength to defeat the female athletes of today.

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