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Exercise myths - sorting the fact from the fiction

By: Michael Winter

At some time or another you will probably come across the following myths during your exercise journey. Here's what you need to know to separate the fact from the fiction.

Fiction: Strength training will make women too muscular
Fact: Many women are afraid that strength training will make them bulky. However, women don't actually have enough testosterone to create big, bulky muscles. In fact, they naturally have less bone and muscle than men, which explains why females are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis than males. The fact is, women should undertake strength training because by keeping their bones and muscles strong, they decrease their risk of disability as they age.

Fiction: Light weights on your arms or legs can boost your exercise benefit
Fact: Some people carry light handheld weights when they walk or run, while others strap velcro-fastened weights around their ankles. Unfortunately, these sorts of weights are not heavy enough to provide the benefits of strength training, but instead will slow your training down, can alter your natural gait and therefore decrease the over all benefits received from the activity.

Fiction: Certain exercises will rid us of trouble spots
Fact: Some people believe that if they exercise one particular area, it will cause fat to be removed from that area. In the gym you often find men who store their fat in their abdomen, are on the ab machines, and the women with larger thighs are on the hip machines for hours in hopes of 'spot reducing'. However, while these abdominal and hip exercises can strengthen and tone the muscles of those regions, those muscles are actually located underneath the 'subcutaneous' (deep) layer of fat; this means, we must lose the excess fat that is covering up the muscles in order to discard that 'flabby' appearance. When you exercise, the areas where you will lose weight is determined by your genes.

Added: 19-12-2017