Exercise Myths and Facts
fitness expert dispels the myths and reveals the
Many people know a lot about exercise because of the
wealth of media attention given to the subject. But
"there are still many misconceptions that keep
people from getting fit.” says fitness expert Kathie
Here are some of the most common exercise myths
Davis encounters, and the facts.
Myth: No pain, no gain.
Fact: "The signs you're getting in
shape are subtle," Davis says. "Anything more than a
mild burning sensation in your muscles as you're
exercising means you're injuring yourself."
Instead of pushing to the point of pain, "track your
progress by keeping an exercise log,” Davis
suggests. Monitor laps, reps, time or distance.
Myth: You have to be in shape to work out.
Fact: Exercising will get you in
Begin with a 15-minute walk. "Or go outside and play
with your children anything to begin incorporating
exercise into your fife, "Davis says.
You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity
activity three to four days a week.
If you don't have a continuous, half-hour block of
time in which to work out, break up your exercise
routine into three 10-minute segments each day.
Myth: Some people are too old to work out.
Fact: You're never too old.
"You can start exercising at any age,” Davis says.
This is underscored by recent strength-training
studies showing that even people in their 80s can
benefit from exercise.
But check with your doctor before starting an
exercise program, especially if you're over 35.
If you've never exercised before or have a health
condition such as diabetes or heart disease,
"consider working with a qualified personal trainer
to get started in the right direction.” Davis says.
The trainer should have experience in training
people who are your age and at your level of
Myth: To exercise, you have to look the
Fact: Expensive, tight-fitting
clothes aren't required.
"Comfort is key.” Davis says. Try wearing bike
shorts combined with an oversized T-shirt.
Myth: A little exercise doesn't count.
Fact: Any activity is better than
"Even 10 minutes of exercise here and there can get
your heart rate up a little and increase your
circulation.” Davis says. "You'll also feel more
For example: Taking a walk around your office
building or across the parking lot can improve your
Myth: Don't drink water unless you're
Fact: It's important to drink water
or other fluids without caffeine before, during and
Take a water break even if you're not thirsty. "You
need to consistently replace the fluids you're
losing when you exercise.” Davis says. "Otherwise,
you can become dehydrated to an extent that affects
your general well-being and performance."
Myth: You don't have to exercise.
Fact: No matter what kind of
weight-management program you're on, dieting or diet
medication alone can't do it all.
To make exercise a habit, "find an activity you
enjoy.” Davis says.
"Whether it's golf, ball room dancing or weight
lifting, it has to be fun or you won't stick with