11 June, 2008

Myths associated with exercises

“Almost everything they told you about diet and exercise is wrong...”

HAVE you been taking fat burners, exercising religiously and dieting — all at the same time — and you're still having a hard time trying to figure out how to get in shape?
When you boil it down, the most important ingredient in building a better body is the information that shows you how to do it. There are tricks, rules and secrets to everything — from baking good bread to getting the body you want.
I present the best information to you in a way that you can understand and act on.

People think that they will I get stronger & fitter with five, six hours of training everyday and can repeat same exercises every day. The fact is that your muscles actually become stronger and more toned while you rest and recuperate from training. Think of all exercise as a kind of stress on your body and the process of getting fit as an adaptation to this stress. If you never take a break from exercising or if you repeat the same type of training day in and day out then you won’t see the results you want. What’s more, training too hard or too often may cause injury or illness.
E.g.: max exercise time in a day- Keep in mind the frequency, intensity & the time duration of exercise. Do not increase all of them together. Exercise no more than one hour three to five times a week. The rest and the recovery period is important as it gives you the adaptation energy or else you experience burn out. Also the chances of injuries are increased
What can over exercise lead to- problems?
E.g.: of how wrong clubbing of exercises can lead to problems…. hands, legs, abdomen…. –
make sure that you work pair bigger & smaller muscle groups also work the agonist & its antagonist. Because if you keep on working on only one muscle and neglect its opposite muscle, it can lead to imbalance & hence injuries. E.g. if you work on abdomen, make sure to work on back muscles also to avoid back problems.

Women are scared to take up weight training because they feel that they will bulk up if they do so. But the fact is that they should not be scared to take up weight training. In fact, weight training is often the easiest and quickest way for women to look leaner, more sculpted and toned. You’d have to be taking steroids to achieve the bulked-up look most body builders have, so don’t be afraid of weights. I encourage you to incorporate strength training twice a week into your exercise program because it will help protect you from injury, tone your muscles, help prevent osteoporosis and burn excess body fat, even when you are resting.

Some people do not consider strength training as cardio activity. They do not realize that strength training (weight training) is actually an excellent way to work the heart and lungs. Next time you’re in the gym, try doing a slow set of squats, lunges or press-ups and see how you can take your heart rate to new heights. Another easy way to get your heart rate racing is by doing press ups over your head with a body bar or light dumbbells.

People workout religiously for two hours and then cannot suppress their craving for sweets or junk food. My advice to you is that you are what you eat. Nothing can change that. If you try to make up for sloppy eating habits through exercising more or at a higher intensity, you’ll probably overtrain and be more likely to injure yourself. You’ll probably also feel frustrated because you won’t be seeing the desired results. The only way to maintain weight and be fit is by sticking to a healthy exercise program and eating nutritiously. You simply can’t do one or the other and expect to look and feel great. If you eat little and often (about four or five mini meals a day), include a balance of protein, fruit and vegetables and carbs in your diet, and drink lots of water you’ll feel energized for your workouts and look and feel your best.

Another common myth is that sitting in the sauna will help to burn fat. Saunas are great for one thing: releasing muscle tension. This is a great way to spend five minutes relaxing after a tough workout. However, sitting in the sauna depletes your body of water and, if these fluids are not replenished, can cause dehydration. It’s important to drink lots of water before and after you sit in the sauna, and while it might be an enjoyable experience it won’t help you burn fat.

Often times, aging people blame slow metabolism as the cause of gaining weight. Do not blame slow metabolism for weight gain. Actually, hundreds of research studies have shown that the slow down in metabolism is due to a loss of muscle tissue. And the loss of muscle tissue is directly related to a lack of hard physical activity!

Pastas and breads are considered fattening. The fact is anything is fattening! Lettuce can be stored as fat! Any food or drink, which contains calories, can be stored as body fat if it causes your blood sugar levels to exceed what the body needs at that time. Bread and pasta are actually great sources of complex carbohydrate! The key is how much you eat and when you eat it.

People think that eating after 7PM will make them fat. It all depends on whether or not the body needs that amount of calories at that time. Keep in mind your body is constantly burning calories, 24 hours per day, just the amount varies.

What they told you about breathing and exercise is wrong...
According to common wisdom, you should exhale (breath out) during the most strenuous phase of an exercise, and inhale (breathe in) during the easier phase.
We hear, for example, that when performing the bench press, one should exhale upon the exertion. During the abdominal curl, most people are told to breathe out as they contract their abdominals (as the upper body leaves the floor). Then, you're supposed to breathe in as you return to the starting position.
This advice is rarely questioned. But is it correct? Does a "right" or "wrong" way to breathe really exist? And what evidence is it based on?

Breathing is much more than a way to take in oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. It forms the foundation for correct exercise technique. Unfortunately, much of the common wisdom about breathing and exercise is misguided.

How to burn fat faster without spending longer in the gym...
Many people point to a lack of time as the reason why they can't stick to a regular exercise routine. That's why books such as 8 Minutes in the Morning or The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution have become so popular. They promise to help you get in shape in less time and with less effort.
One simple way to cut down on the time you spend in the gym is to increase the density of your workout. Workout density is a measure of the amount of work performed in a specific time period. Don't worry if it sounds too complicated. Increasing workout density is actually quite easy when you use supersets.
Most weight-training routines require that you perform one set of a given exercise, rest for a minute or two, then return to the same exercise. And it's this rest period between sets that takes up a lot of time.
With supersets, you move quickly from one exercise to another, with little or no rest between. In other words, rather than resting between sets, you perform an exercise for another muscle group.
Depending on who you talk to, you might also hear supersets called compound sets or staggered sets. They're all variations on the same theme.
Supersets usually involve several sets of two exercises for opposing muscle groups, such as the biceps curl and triceps dip. A compound set is a superset for the same muscle group (such as two back-to-back exercises for your biceps).
With staggered sets, you do an exercise for one muscle group and then, with little or no rest, perform an exercise for a muscle group (usually a smaller one) in a different part of the body. As an example, you might alternate squats with dumbbell curls.
One of the main benefits of a weight-training routine that includes supersets is that it raises your metabolic rate in the hours after exercise. Studies also show a shift in substrate oxidation, which means that you're also burning more fat.
So, one of the ways to make sure your metabolism stays elevated after exercise is to keep your rest periods between sets relatively short.
If you find it hard to fit weight training into your day, try increasing the density of your workout by using supersets or staggered sets. It's a very simple way to boost your metabolic rate and burn fat faster without spending longer in the gym.

Belly fat and how to beat it...
Of all the e-mails I get sent every day, by far the most common - from men and women alike - are questions about how to lose stubborn belly fat.
A pot belly... love handles... the spare tire... call it what you will. It seems to be the area of your body that you'd really like to do something about.
Belly fat
Not only is a firm, flat stomach the ultimate symbol of sex appeal, researchers have found that losing abdominal fat is one of the most important steps you can take to stay healthy for life.
Most people realize that excess fat is unhealthy, but the key is where the fat is distributed. People with apple-shaped bodies (fattest in the abdomen) have a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes than those with pear shapes (fattest in the hips, buttocks, and thighs).
What is inflammation and why should you care?
Most doctors will tell you that the best way to avoid a heart attack is to lower your cholesterol. What they won't tell you is that routine cholesterol tests identify less than half of all patients who are at risk for heart disease.
In other words, a patient can receive a "normal" cholesterol reading one day and still suffer a heart attack the next. The truth is that many cardiologists believe we should be looking beyond cholesterol.
As scientists delve deeper into the fundamental causes of heart disease and other illnesses, they are starting to see links to an age-old defense mechanism called inflammation - the same biological process that causes the redness, swelling and pain if you cut a finger
One way to test for inflammation is to measure levels of C-reactive protein in the blood. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein are linked with a higher than average risk of heart disease.
What's interesting is that higher C-reactive protein levels are linked with body fat, especially the belly fat stored around your waist. Fat in the midsection is stored deeper inside your body, in and around the liver and other organs. It's called visceral fat. Fat in the hip and thigh region is mainly stored just under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat.
It won't surprise you to learn that the best way to lose abdominal fat is to eat right and exercise regularly. And there's a growing body of research showing that the fastest way to burn off the fat from your belly is with a combination of weight-training and aerobic exercise.
Belly fat is stored energy. To get rid of the fat, you have to burn more energy (calories) than you eat on a regular basis. Abdominal exercises like crunches and sit-ups won't burn as many calories as a properly designed fat-burning exercise program In other words, hundreds of sit-ups won't make much difference to the appearance of your waist and stomach if your abdominal muscles are hidden under a layer of fat.
The truth is, getting six-pack 'killer' abs has almost nothing to do with training. It has everything to do with low body fat. I still believe that developing the abdominal muscles is easy. The hardest part is getting your body fat low enough for your abs to show.

Aerobics- the wrong ways and postures. Be very aware of your posture while exercising. Keep your bas tight, back straight, chest up & lifted, hips tucked in. always land on your toes & make sure to roll down the heels so that the full foot absorbs the shock. Be sure to properly warm up because this increases the body temperature & hence exchange of blood to the working muscles. It also prepares the body for the upcoming activities and prevents post exercise soreness.

Box on clothes to wear- from undergarments to shoes. Always choose the right shoe suitable for a particular activity. Aerobics, e.g. involves not only traveling forward but also lateral moves. Hence while choosing shoe for aerobics, make sure that it provides you with good ankle support, arch support, and good cushioning and forefoot flexibility. It should be light & breathable. This means that it should be able to absorb not only the shock on the joints but also the sweat. Similarly for clothes, choose clothes that are loose, comfortable and absorb sweat. Go for right sports wear. They will definitely give you confidence to perform better. Wrist & headbands also help you to absorb sweat. For people with short hair, headbands come handy.


  1. Hello Fellow blogger, spot on with the article!
    I meet so many people who have these huge misconceptions about losing belly fat with all the wrong methods. Thats why I started blogging at Fitho to spread the word.

  2. I am guilty of avoiding weight training for the reasons you mentioned.... I'm gad you cleared things up. I am learning a lot from your blog!