Common Exercise Myths - Busted

Myth #1: Your genes determine your metabolism and body weight.
Only 25% of your body weight is truly determined by your genes — the rest is determined by your behavior. At any time in life, you can drastically change your body weight by combining low-calorie eating and exercise, and you can increase your metabolism by performing strength-and-resistance exercises.

In one case study, experts at Tufts University found that individuals in their 90s who strength-trained three times a week for eight weeks increased their strength by 300%. 

If you increase your strength, you're increasing your lean muscle tissue. Increase lean muscle tissue and you increase your metabolism.

Myth #2: By performing strength-and-resistance exercises, women will bulk up.
Men have 20-to-30 times the muscle-building potential that women do because of the male hormone testosterone. However, those who perform minimal cardiovascular exercise followed by intelligent strength-and-resistance exercises typically look lean and thin.

Myth #3: You can spot-reduce to lose weight.
I've witnessed women performing hundreds of lunges and squats in a desperate attempt to slim their legs, hips, and gluts. Unfortunately, they don't spot-reduce body fat. On the contrary, the way to achieve leaner legs is to increase your lean muscle tissue throughout your body.

By working all your muscles, you increase metabolism. Up your metabolism and exercise caution with your eating, and you'll start looking the way you want to.

A study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that women ages 61 to 77 who strength-trained three times a week lost more fat from their midsections than their male workout partners.

Related - 8 Ways To Squeeze Exercise Into Your Hectic Day

Myth #4: To tone a muscle you should perform more repetitions with lighter weights.
The way to achieve a toned muscle is to build the muscle and burn the fat. You can do it by lifting heavy weights and performing no more than 10-to-12 repetitions. Lifting lighter weights and doing more repetitions won't do much of anything — you're not stressing the muscle enough to stimulate it to change and grow.

Myth #5: Strength-and-resistance exercise doesn't benefit your heart, only cardiovascular exercise does.
Research from the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that strength training can increase aerobic capacity. You can derive similar benefits from both strength training and cardiovascular exercise.

Myth #6: You'll lose flexibility if you perform strength-and-resistance exercises.
Proper strength-and-resistance training can actually improve muscular balance and flexibility. A study from the International Journal of Sports Medicine showed that formerly sedentary individuals who participated in resistance exercises showed an increase in flexibility.

This occurs because of a concept called reciprocal inhibition. When you contract, for example, the bicep muscle in the front of the arm, the tricep muscle at the back of the arm has to relax, elongate and stretch out. Basically, when you contract one muscle, you stretch the opposing one.

By Jim Karas From Good House keeping
Photo credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

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