MYTH: Unless you work out for an hour it’s not worth doing it at all.
False – The tradition of an hour long workout as the only way to exercise option is long gone. Intensity of exercise matters equally – if not more, than volume. Personal trainers and fitness clubs have long promoted the 30 minute ‘work as hard as you can’ resistance training session.
The advent of more intense forms of exercise such as TRX suspension training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) is seeing the introduction of 30-45 minute groups and classes. This idea of doing repeated short bursts of high intensity exercise such as 3 times 20 seconds can be applied to almost any form of activity. The evidence is building that this type of training is more effective in increasing fitness as well as controlling sugars and insulin and therefore body weight. So don’t get caught up in the hour or nothing myth.
MYTH: You cannot out train a bad diet.
True – How many times a day do you exercise? How many times a day do you eat? So it should be no surprise that keeping to the leaner end of the scales is 30% exercise and 70% diet. There are many reasons to exercise, heart and lung health, bone and ligament strength, metal wellbeing… but when it comes to the measurement of the waistline exercise alone is not enough.
You have to consider the input output balance. 45 minutes of exercise in the morning does not give you a carte blanche for eating the rest of the day. Sadly it takes 45minutes to work off the donut it just took you 4 minutes to eat – and that’s to keep the balance even, not lose weight. So don’t undo the good work you do in the gym with what you put in your mouth in the kitchen!
If you are sick you should sweat it out through exercise.
Partly true, partly false – As a general rule if you have a ‘small sickness’ and it is above the shoulders, such as a sore throat, a headache or a sniffle, you can do a light workout. It may even help to boost the immune system and clear airways thereby speeding up your recovery. However, if the ‘sickness’ is more serious or below the shoulders and through the whole body it is what we call ‘systemic’, such as fever, shivers, aches, pains and gastro, you need to rest. Doing an exercise session in this condition just gives the body another battle to cope with when it is already fighting the invading bug.
Pushing on when you shouldn’t, because you don’t want to miss a session might mean a longer time on the bench if you get sicker. It is also good social etiquette to not share your germs with others if you exercise in a group or club.
By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub www.healthhub.net.au
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