Exercisers' Most Common Fitness
Consumers are constantly bombarded with
fitness information and "expert" advice from questionable sources.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
recently conducted a survey of more than 1,500 ACE-certified fitness
professionals to discover the exercise myths that they most commonly hear from
The following are their top responses:
Women who lift weights will get bulky
muscles. Women usually do not have the genetic potential to develop large,
bulky muscles because they don't have enough of the hormone testosterone, which
is needed for the development of muscle bulk. While steroids and other
artificial means may cause some women to bulk up, strength training will
Spot reducing is possible. Spot
reducing is not possible. The concept is based on the flawed notion that
it is possible to burn off fat from a specific part of the body by selectively
exercising that area. However, numerous studies have refuted this claim. Only
regular exercise training (aerobic and strength) and a sensible diet can
eliminate excess body fat.
No pain, no gain. Many people
incorrectly assume that exercise must hurt to be beneficial, when in fact
exercising to the point of pain can do more harm than good. A sensible exercise
program might be uncomfortable, but should not be painful. It should put a
reasonable demand on the cardio-respiratory and musculoskeletal systems to
improve their function, without significantly increasing the risk of injury.
Exercise requires a hefty time
commitment. Any amount of regular exercise contributes to better overall
health and well-being. ACE recommends a total of at least 30 minutes of
physical activity a day to maintain health and reduce the risk of heart disease
and cancer. Individuals desiring to lose weight and keep it off are advised to
accumulate 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
If you exercise, you can eat whatever you
want. A sound nutrition program goes hand-in-hand with a sound exercise
regimen. If the goal is to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, consumers
should add more fruits and vegetables to the diet, avoid processed high-sugar
foods and control portion size.
There's a magic bullet or quick fix out
there somewhere. There is no quick fix. Many nutritional supplements are
marketed using deceptive, misleading, or fraudulent advertising. A
well-balanced diet coupled with regular exercise is still the safest and most
effective way to achieve weight loss or performance goals.
With the abundance of available information
sources, it is easy to pick up erroneous fitness advice, said Dr. Cedric
Bryant, chief exercise physiologist and vice president of educational services
The key is looking to qualified, fitness
professionals or reputable organizations for health and fitness advice to
safely sort through the ever-increasing maze of misinformation.