It’s interesting what gets spread around and accepted as fitness “facts” when in truth they’re fitness myths, or misinformation. Or as some folks like to call it, “FAKE News!”
Whether it’s fitness, health, nutrition, religion, or politics, sometimes it can be challenging to know what’s a myth or truth. With almost anything, a Google search will give you some sort of answer, but then we must ask ourselves, "was it a good answer?" This is especially true for health topics or finding specific exercises to “solve” a pain or injury problem. There are many fitness myths and it seems there is not one right answer that will be the magic answer for everybody.
Here are a few more Fitness Myths that I’d like to help shed some light on…
MYTH: Static Stretching Should Always Be Done Before a Workout
Static Stretching done pre-workout can reduce performance and power.
(Static stretching is when you get into a position and hold it.)
Static Stretching can still be done at the END of your training session to improve flexibility but it’s best to warm-up with dynamic stretching.
Dynamic stretches are active movements that take the body through a comfortable range of motion without “holding” a position.
MYTH: Pilates is only for your Abs
While it’s true that a strong emphasis is placed on using good core support with every Pilates exercise, Pilates is a WHOLE-BODY Workout. It’s more about connecting mind and body to develop whole-body health - balanced body development, breathing, posture, concentration, control, centering, precision. Pilates can help your feet, knees, hips, back, shoulders, neck… It’s a lot more than just abs!
MYTH: Pilates is only for fit, young, healthy people
Pilates is for EVERY body! But just like any other type of activity, it’s important to start with basics and have a well-qualified expert help you develop your workout program. Not every exercise is safe and appropriate for every body. But everybody young and old, fit or unfit, athletic or never-exercised a day in their life, can benefit from learning and practicing Pilates.
In the past 25 years of my Pilates teaching career, most of my clients started because they had an injury or chronic pain problem. Rarely have I had a young, fit, healthy person walk thru my door to get started.
MYTH: Sugar Causes Diabetes
If you do not have diabetes, sugar intake will not cause you to develop the disease. The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes are a diet high in calories, being overweight, and an inactive lifestyle. If you have diabetes, work closely with your physician and dietitian to help manage your blood sugar levels to stay healthy.
MYTH: Running is Bad for Your Knees
There is no research that shows a greater instance of joint issues or osteoarthritis in people who run versus those who do not.
Women are prone to more knee issues, but it’s a biomechanical issue, not pounding the pavement that is the primary factor in knee pain.
Have you seen my knee cap tracking video? If you’re knees make that crackling sound when you bend and straighten them, it’s due in part to the kneecap not gliding in it’s groove. And this can be caused by a muscle imbalance through the quadriceps. Check out my Knee Cap Dance exercise on YouTube
MYTH: Walking isn’t as good as Jogging
Not only is walking as good as jogging, in some ways it might be better.
A study done by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, revealed that over 6-years and nearly 50,000 participants, researchers found that:
- running reduced the risk of high blood pressure by 4.2 %
- walking reduced high blood pressure by 7.2%
- running reduced high cholesterol by 4.3%
- walking reduced cholesterol by 7%
- running reduced heart disease by 5%
- walking reduced heart disease by 9%
In addition, walking is one of the best whole-body activities that you can do to enhance functional movement (if you’re using the body correctly).
Interested in learning more about how I re-educate my clients to walk well? Snag a copy of Pilates Walk – Tips, Techniques, and Exercises for a Healthy Stride
. And get started improving how you move to maximize the benefits of your walking workouts.
Are any of these 6 fitness myths something you believed to be a fact? Have you always started your workouts with static stretching? Have you been afraid to try Pilates because you’re not “fit enough?" Were you thinking that walking for fitness wasn’t worth your time? I hope this post helps shed a little light these fitness myths. Make smart wellness choices and find the best ways to fine-tune what you’re doing to stay healthy!
Missed my previous installment about other fitness myths? Read about them here