So, in order to provide you with the most accurate information possible for your fitness journey, here are five myths to avoid when choosing a workout plan.
1. Mild “exercise” and active living improves fitness and health.
Mild exercise such as walking, gardening and other leisurely activities are NOT enough to stave off osteoporosis, strengthen the heart or aid in weight loss.
Only consistent moderate to intense “workouts” (lasting a minimum of 30 minutes) burn enough provide enough stimulus to strengthen bones, improve cardiovascular health and burn enough calories to make a measurable difference in one’s fitness level.
2. Soy is an adequate protein.
Did you know that the American Heart Association, after studying 10 years of “soy’s benefits” determined that soy protein contains dangerous levels of plant estrogens, which have been proven to increase the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men?
The best food-from of protein is the egg. It is the only natural “food” that contains the same amino acid profile as we humans. That means by consuming eggs, we put our bodies in the best position to repair itself from cellular damage that arises from exercise or illness. For those of you who dislike eggs make sure you eat adequate amounts of lean meats, nuts or dairy products to get enough protein to “feed” your muscles and metabolism. A general rule of thumb is one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass for men and .75 per pound for women. If you are vegan, focus on “food combining” your carbohydrates to ensure you get enough protein as well.
3. Alcohol and red wine are beneficial to human health.
The media, and even some doctors, “prescribe” that one glass of wine or even beer is not only safe, but possibly healthy. Really?
Alcohol is a Class A human carcinogen. People, that means “using” it regularly increase the risk of breast, colon, liver, and oral cancers. It is a drug that affects the central nervous system just like barbiturates, sedatives and anesthetics. And as far a red wine is concerned, it is the antioxidant resveratrol that is responsible for reducing “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and preventing blood clots. Here’s a thought. How about choosing foods that contain resveratrol, but not the alcohol like red grapes (duh?), peanuts and peanut butter, cocoa powder and dark chocolate, blueberries and mulberries? What the hell is a mulberry?
4. Eating less food equals losing more weight.
While calories in verses calories out works for sedentary and morbidly obese people, it is not for you or anyone who exercises on a regular basis.
When the body is deprived of food, digestion slows and the body holds on to fat. It is our fight or flight mechanism kicking in. Therefore, in order to lose weight consistently, the body needs to be fed small meals every so often (every three to four hours) which helps speed up its metabolism resulting in more fat being burned instead of being stored. Add to that a regular exercise program, which also jump starts a stagnant metabolism and viola, fat loss!
5. Sweating and being out of breath means you had a good and effective cardiovascular workout.
I see tons of people (most recently at the Krav Magra on Olympic) working themselves (or should I say being worked) into a sweating and panting frenzy do the most nonsensical “workouts” I’ve ever seen. Also, I listen to clients tell me that swimming or playing basketball their “cardio”. I’ve got news for you all…while it might be exercise, and even admittedly more fun, to punch a bag, swim or play hoops for a half hour or more, it’s not cardio!
Cardiovascular training is defined as a non-stop, dynamic exercise, using the body’s large muscle groups, which raises ones heart rate to 60 to 85 percent of the its maximum for an extended period of time, usually twenty minutes or longer. How do you measure the intensity? Either wear a heart rate monitor or perform the “talk test”. If you are mildly out of breath buy can carry on a conversation, you are probably in the range. If you have to stop and catch your breath in order to form a sentence, you are exercising too hard.
There you have it, another five dispelled fitness myths!
So in two days, when you cast your vote for the future of this state and country, remember, as important of a decision it is, it is even more important for you to make the right choices when it comes to your health and fitness.