Daily exercise can help you maintain your weight, boost your mood, and keep illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes at bay. While committing to a workout regimen can be challenging, you may also face roadblocks once you begin, and one of the most common is taking a few common exercise myths at face value. If you want to optimize your workout and feel positive about the outcome, there are a few common exercise myths you may want to debunk before you begin.
1. Exercise Before You Eat
This is a common myth because it is widely accepted that the body uses up calories faster when the stomach is empty and therefore burns stored fat for fuel instead. While this seems to be plausible, it may not be as efficient as you believe. Fasting exercise, such as cardio, may burn some stored fat cells; however, it may not be enough to achieve your targeted weight loss goal for that week. Working out on an empty stomach might also cause you to feel faint or lightheaded, which could result in a serious fall or other injuries.
Eating a light, protein-rich meal before a workout can help you prevent packing on extra calories and give you the energy you need to make it through that morning spin or Zumba class. Consider a small spinach omelet, steel-cut oatmeal, or a fruit smoothie to keep your energy up as you burn fat and build muscle.
2. Daily Workouts Are a Must
While news about the dangers of prolonged sitting might have you working out every day in an effort to combat its effects, overdoing exercise can be just as detrimental to your body. Participating in intense daily exercise does not give your muscles and joints time to heal in between sessions, which could result in a long-term injury. However, if you are concerned about inactivity, there are a few activities you can do that will keep you moving yet allow your muscles to recover from the previous days’ workout.
Taking a 10-minute walk around the block, dancing to your favorite song, or even joining your dog for a romp in the backyard can help raise your heart rate and get your blood pumping, and all with minimal effort. Even activities like gardening and housecleaning can keep you moving so you do not have to feel guilty about sitting down with a good book or your favorite TV show later on.
3. You Need To Join a Gym
Gym ads are more prominent than ever as Americans fight the battle of the bulge and try to get healthy. However, many people believe you must belong to a gym to get healthy because the available equipment and classes they offer give you a wider scope of exercise options. While these may be more varied, not everyone needs a gym to get healthy, especially if your goal is to lose a bit of weight or increase your level of activity.
If you need exercise advice, it is your physician, not a local trainer, who may be of more help to you. Your primary care doctor understands your medical history, which ailments you might be facing, and how your overall health might be positively impacted by exercise. He or she can help you form an exercise and nutrition plan, and your local park or outdoor public track can provide you with all the room you need to walk, run, or perform some simple muscle-building exercises.
4. Chug Water All Day Long
You may have heard about the dangers of dehydration during exercise and how it can cause muscle cramps, dizziness, and fainting. While these are all definite signs of dehydration, the odds of suffering from it are relatively low unless you are working out on a hot day with little shade available. Water consumption is an important factor in good health and can even flush away fat cells, but overdoing your water intake can be just as dangerous than not drinking enough.
Depending on your height, weight, and level of activity, your fluid needs may be vastly different from others around you. Drinking too much water can flush sodium out of your system, which could cause nausea, vomiting, severe headache, and muscle weakness. Track your intake in a food journal and occasionally replace water with plain tea or fruit-infused drinks.
5. You Do Not Need To See a Doctor if You Exercise
Daily workouts can help you feel your best and may even give you your immune system a boost. However, even if your exercise routine has you feeling fit, it is not a replacement for an annual medical checkup. Routine exams, blood tests, and innovative early detection methods for cancer, such as those developed by Dr. Harry Stylli, can pinpoint medical issues before they cause you to become seriously ill or pass the stage where they can be cured.
Adding daily exercise into your routine can help you feel energized and ready to face whatever your busy life throws at you. Balancing healthy habits based on facts, not myths, may help you achieve your overall wellness goals.