A workout buddy passes along an exercise tip, and then you pass it on to several folks you know. Your kid’s coach gives you advice, and sure enough you hear the same thing from several other parents. So you figure it must be true. But experts say that in the world of fitness, myths and half-truths abound – and some of them may be keeping you and your family from getting the best and safest workout. That said, experts say there are also some fitness myths that just need busting, and the sooner the better and it is good for the people’s well-being.
These are some the points to remember about the myths of fitness:
Crunches reduces belly fat
Don’t believe everything you hear on those late-night infomercials! It helps strengthen the muscles around your midsection and improve your posture,” being able to “see” your abdominal muscles has to do with your overall percentage of body fat. If you don’t lose the belly fat, he says, you won’t see the ab muscles. In order to burn fat, you should create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training elements.
Treadmill run is less stressful
Running is a great workout, but it can impact the knees — and since it’s the force of your body weight on your joints that causes the stress, it’s the same whether you’re on a treadmill or on asphalt and the best way to reduce knee impact, says Schlifstein, is to vary your workout. If you mix running with other cardio activities, like an elliptical machine, or you ride a stationary bike, you will reduce impact on your knees so you’ll be able to run for many more years.
Swim for weight loss
While swimming is great for increasing lung capacity, toning muscles, and even helping to burn off excess tension and the most surprising truth is that unless you are swimming for hours a day, it may not help you lose much weight. It may actually cause you to eat more than you normally would, so it can make it harder to stay with an eating plan.
Yoga cures back pain
The truth is that yoga can help with back pain, but it’s not equally good for all types. If your back pain is muscle-related, then yes, the yoga stretches and some of the positions can help. It can also help build a stronger core, which for many people is the answer to lower back pain. But if your back problems are related other problems (such as a ruptured disc) yoga is not likely to help, he says. What’s more, it could actually irritate the injury and cause you more pain.
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