8 Exercise Myths and Facts

Dr. Michael Wald (Board Certified Nutritionist), The Blood Detective

Director of Nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, P.C.

914-242-8844  / www.intmedny.com  /www.blooddetective.com / zombiefoodbar.com

  1. Cardio machine and calorie counting – A machine can never know how many calories you are actually burning. Hormone balance, exercise effort, type of exercise and duration/intensity of exercise all matter in terms of actual calories burned. The cardio machine provides information based on studies of other people with indirect evidence regarding how duration and length of a particular exercise (i.e., treadmill for running and stair-stepper for stair climbing) might induce calorie burning.  It’s best to become more attuned to how you feel and notice the results that you are achieving to figure out how hard (based on perception) you need to exercise for specific results. However, one’s perception of exercise effort may seem to indicate that you are working hard enough for a particular fitness result, but your heart rate may not at all agree.  Said another way, your heart rate might be elevated and you may be straining because you are out of shape.  As your conditioning grows with ongoing exercise efforts you will feel that you are not working as hard, but will notice that your heart rate is elevated showing that you in fact are.
  2. No pain no gain – Pain generally indicates that breakdown (catabolism) is occurring in the tissues and/or toxic build up of various chemicals has occurred (i.e., lactic acid and co2) that reflect tissue fatigue. There is some truth that if you are not feeling any physical stress during your workout muscles will not likely grow, change shape and improve their tone.  As always, good common-sense must come into play.  Tissue such as the musculoskeletal system and cardiovascular system will only improve their appearance and function if they are stress beyond their current level of fitness. Pushing beyond your current level of fitness causes adaptation in body tissues forcing them to either adapt to an improved levels of fitness and conditioning…or not.
  3. Lifting weights and bulking up (women) – Most women will not bulk up from weight training unless the training is meant for this purpose. If a weight is chosen where the woman can perform 10-12 reps (with the last 3 producing a struggle), toning and improvement in strength, and bulking up will not happen.  It takes very strenuous loading of muscle tissues over prolonged periods of time for muscle bulking to occur in most women. The diet has a lot to do with bulking as well, requiring a much higher protein and overall caloric intake.
  4. Low intensity exercise and fat burning – Low intensity exercise is not best for fat burning.   High intensity, short duration exercise has been demonstrated to increases metabolic rate more efficiently for fat burning than longer, slower effort exercise.  However, aerobic and steady-pace exercise efforts that exceed one hour effectively burn fat.
  5. Exercise in the gym regularly, but not that active during the day – A great exercise effort in the gym or outdoors, followed by several hours of idle can easily remove virtually all exercise benefits.   Bottom line, standing instead of sitting, walk instead of standing and run or jog instead of walking when the opportunity arises. Sitting many hours at work or home in front of the television will slow metabolism.  If you are exercising well, but are still not getting those unwanted pounds off, consider that the rest of your days need a metabolic boost!
  6. Carbohydrate & Protein Shakes & Timing During Exercise – If you have a poor diet, no amount of health shakes or bars will make up for it. If your diet is good then using either exercise drinks or bars can provide that needed boost in energy for you and during your work outs. Consuming a healthy version of a sports bar or drink can be very useful for maximizing exercise efforts. For aerobic exercise, there is a 60 minute window post-exercise where the body best accepts both protein and carbohydrates to offset glycogen loss and tissue breakdown; therefore eat a healthy bar or drink following your 60 minute exercise effort. Consider Bug-Out Grub Drink available at: (www.blooddetective.com).
  7. Tight Abdominals & Other Body Areas – Targeted Training For Fat Loss – targeting one’s exercise efforts for a particular body area is fine for toning the muscle underneath fat, but will have virtually no effect on fat burning at the respective body area.  Aerobic exercise is what is needed to increase metabolic rate in the body, globally affecting fat burning systemically.
  8. Stretching & Exercise – Stretching the entire body, or focusing on stretching in one or more areas, has been shown not to aid in exercise recovery, performance or reduce injury.  Some research seems to suggest that performing the exercise, but very slowly, will probably result in less exercise stress and strain and enhance exercise performance. Simply put, if you are a jogger, first jog very slowly to warm the specific tissues involved in your exercise.  If you are a biker, bike very slowly at first, etc.
Posted on August 29, 2013 and filed under General Health.