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Exercise & Fitness Myths

Thinking about getting fit ahead of summer? Check out these eight common myths about exercise - and the facts behind them…

The more exercise the better…

Whilst regular exercise is important, it is necessary for your body to recover between sessions. If you work out every day without a break you could injure yourself by not allowing your body time to repair and strengthen itself. So be sure to take regular breaks and include a rest day between exercise sessions. Discover more fitness training tips.

It’s too late to get in shape…

Not true! Exercise at any age will help improve your overall health – both physical and mental. Any exercise is better than none and it can have major benefits for your health and wellbeing no matter how old you are. Do ensure however that you don’t push yourself too hard if you haven’t exercised in a while. Check out these tips on how to get more active.

The more you sweat, the harder you are working…

False. Sweating is not an indication of working hard but of the body being warm– the purpose of sweat is to cool the body. How hard you are working does not necessarily correlate with how much you sweat – for example, you can burn lots of calories without sweating too much by doing light weight training or taking a walk.

No pain, no gain…

It’s a common misconception that we have to feel pain whilst working out in order to know that it’s having an effect. However, whilst you may experience some soreness after working out, you should not be experiencing intense pain during your workout. If it hurts a lot whilst you are exercising, this may be an indication that you have an injury and “working through the pain” may only make things worse. If you feel pain, you should stop and rest and monitor whether the pain goes away, seeking medical advice where necessary. Take a look at these tips to help you avoid injury.

“I only need to exercise if I’m overweight”…

Not true. The benefits of exercise mean it is far more than simply a way to help you lose weight. Exercising regularly will help improve your fitness levels and can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%. Other benefits can include improving your mood, sleep quality and energy levels as well as helping to reduce your risk of suffering from depression and stress. Find out more about the benefits of regular exercise.

To exercise effectively, you MUST spend hours in the gym…

Not true. You don’t need a gym membership to get a good workout. Activities such as running, walking and dancing can be great ways to get fit without having to head to the gym. You can also try out exercises in the comfort of your own home – take a look at some of these gym free exercises.

If you exercise a lot, you can eat what you want…

Maintaining a healthy diet is still important, even if you are exercising regularly. If you don’t want to lose body fat then you may need to eat more food to compensate for all the energy you use when exercising, however, it’s crucial that you still have a healthy balanced diet. A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease and will help keep your cholesterol levels down. Find out more tips on healthy eating.

Weight training will make you bulky – whether you are a man or a woman…

Untrue. To bulk up, you need the right hormones (testosterone) and because the average man has around 10 times the amount of this compared to the average woman, in most cases women are not able to gain huge muscles by lifting weights in the same way that men do. Weight training does have additional benefits such as increased strength and toning of the muscles. Find out more about weight training.

This article has been brought to you using public health information freely available online (click on links in the article for more information). Benenden has not provided any direct medical advice within this article. Please consult the sources provided if you would like further information or support.