Friday, March 24, 2017

Gym Myths Exposed #1

New gym myths seem to pop up overnight. Do all your exercises standing on one foot! Eat all the carbs you want before a 5k! Strength training makes you bulky! Your workout partner says one thing. The internet says another. A celebrity trainer says they are both wrong.

The next couple of weeks I will share information from top experts in nutrition, exercise, weight loss and athletic performance to rank each concept and set the record straight. You will not only know if the idea is true - you'll also know why.

Machines are safer than free weights - TRUE - but free weights are still the better option.
Resistance training machines may look like medieval torture devices but dumbbells cause more weight-training injuries. Machines support your whole body and encourage motion in one plane with one joint. Free weights force you to control a weight in all directions and they teach you better movement mechanics and body awareness. These skills translate readily into the functional movements of everyday life. Studies found that barbell squats stimulated significantly more beneficial hormones than the same number of machine leg presses. Barbell bench presses were found to activate more muscle tissue than a machine equivalent.

You don't have to be "thin" to be healthy - TRUE - body fat is just one measure of health.
Lifestyle is one of the best predictors of long-term health. Four basic healthy habits minimize the impact of a high BMI.
        * exercise regularly
        * eat five servings of vegetables and fruits daily
        * refrain from smoking
        * drink alcohol in moderation
A person who has more body fat but less stress, who sleeps well, lifts weights and eats fruits and vegetables is often healthier than someone with low body fat who doesn't have the same healthy habits. Strength, flexibility, cardiovascular health and healthy hormonal levels are influenced as much or more by what you DO than what you weigh.

Running is bad for your knees - FALSE - bad running form is bad for your knees.
Perfect running form should be painless. the human body was designed to move far more than we do now. These days people often jump into the sport too quickly and too intensely after years of sedentary living. A new stimulus on the body with that intensity is asking for trouble. Pain in the feet, knees, back and hips is the common outcome. Your knee should track over your foot, not inside or outside of it. Your toes should track forward, not in or out. You should feel equal pressure in the inside and outside edges of your foot each time you stride. Strive for quality form over mileage. Don't increase your mileage more than 10% per week.

Check in next week for three more gym myths exposed!

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

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