Exercise is supposed to really good for you. But some people have some mistaken ideas about what it can – and can’t – do. Here is a list of some common exercise myths, and the facts associated with them.

General myths

You won’t be getting any benefit unless you exercise hard enough to be out of breath. Actually, you should still be able to talk while you’re exercising. If you can’t talk, you’re overdoing it, and should ease off.

Using light weights on your arms or legs will make exercise more effective. These small weights are really not enough. If you want to get more out of exercise, you can add weight training, but that’s a different matter.

Building muscles will make you less flexible. You can stay flexible, or even improve your flexibility, if you take your muscles through the full range of their motion. It’s only if you don’t do this that you’ll lose flexibility.

If you don’t keep exercising, your muscles will turn to fat. Muscles and fat are two different kinds of tissue. They can’t change from one to the other.

Sport drinks keep you healthier by replenishing nutrients lost during exercise. Sport drinks contain mostly salt and sugar, and can be helpful if you’re doing a lot of really intense exercise – like running a marathon. But most people don’t need them. The average exercise routine doesn’t cause you to lose enough salt (through sweating) or carbohydrates to need a sport drink. Experts say water will work just fine for these kinds of workouts.

Gender myths

Women don’t have as much endurance as men because they’re not as muscular. Actually, women have just as much endurance as men, and they recover faster from intense exercise as well. They don’t have as much muscle mass, but that’s because they don’t have as much testosterone.

Myths about exercise and your health

Strength training is designed to build muscle, so it won’t help with weight loss or keep your heart healthy. To lose weight, you need to burn calories, and strength training does do that. It also can help lower LDL – the “bad” cholesterol. Combined with aerobic exercise, which lowers HDL cholesterol, strength training can be very good for your heart.

The more strenuously you exercise, the healthier you’ll be. Actually, exercising at a moderate level is best. It can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes Type 2 and lower your stress and anxiety levels and your blood pressure. Plus, strenuous exercise, especially when you’re starting a new exercise program, can be more hazardous than helpful; consider the sedentary people who have heart attacks while shoveling snow.

Exercise won’t improve your health if you can’t do it regularly. Of course it’s best to exercise on a regular basis. But even one session can help you be healthier — as long as you don’t overdo things.

You can be too old or too sick to exercise; in other words, exercise isn’t good for the elderly or for those with chronic diseases. A study at Tufts University with nursing home residents aged 72 to 98 showed that exercise had some very positive benefits. The participants were stronger, could walk faster, and had more endurance. Certainly people who are very ill might not be able to be very active. But those with chronic conditions might actually see a lessening of their symptoms if they exercise. For example, exercise can help people with arthritis be more flexible and have less pain.

Conclusion

Exercise can help a lot of people in a lot of different situations. But it’s always good to know what works and what doesn’t – for you. If you’re at all uncertain about whether exercise would help or hurt you, check with your doctor before starting any activity program. That way you’ll be more likely to find a program that is not only safe but also effective.

Carmen Electra was once on the cover of the Men’s Fitness magazine I started reading at the newstand, and the illustrations inside were of regular guys, unlike the other magazines where the body builders pictured were really enormous. They have really extreme covers also, so you wouldn’t want to leave them out when mom comes to visit. I’m always interested in what new actresses are doing in the way of conditioning and toning and Carmen Electra is nicely buffed.

The magazine is divided into topical sections: Fitness+Nutrition details the connection between diet and gaining muscle weight and losing excess (fat) weight. If you spent first period health class sleeping or at the local burger emporium this Men’s Fitness monthly article will educate you on fitness eating.

The number one source of protein is Salmon, with only 121 calories per 3oz. serving. The number one fruit is blueberries, at 41 calories a half cup. The best cereal is oatmeal, 148 calories a half cup. The number one vegetable is tomatos, loaded with vitiamin C and 83 calories a whole cup. Of course we a lot more than that, one double cheeseburger is 750 calories, on average. The trick is eating enough to feel sastified and at the same time have enough energy to go through your exercise program and lose ugly fat and gain muscle, everybody is different; Men’s Fitness can give you continuing guidence.

Food is probably the major concern for someone just starting an exercise program. This section also gives examples of meals you (or your Mom) can put together with a minium of experience cooking, this feature is called Meal of the Month. I remember driving past every burgertacoteria in my neighborhood one night and couldn’t decide what to buy to eat (I had been to each place many, many times) so I stopped at a Ralph’s market and bought some basic stuff (and a bottle of Heinz Ketchup-a must!) and have been using the ideas from the magazine to prepare meals instead of just filling up on a lot of calories from fat.

Of course the magazine advertises supplements. That’s where the money comes from to keep the subscription price so low for a really well-designed magazine. I’m going to mention some of the advertisers names so you can get an idea of what this area of the nutritional industry is doing, this is far beyond taking one vitamin a day. I’m not recommending any particular product, this is for informational purposes only. Of course, there are many products of this type available, do some research before you stockup.

All the advertisers in this publication are top tier: Style+Grooming has Black-Kenneth Cole, The Fragrance for Him so you will good as well as look good after your workouts and Nivea for Men Lotion to smooth things along, but not too smooth. Perry Ellis Portfolio for wear under your Arrow Shirts and Timberland boots, which are easily purchased over the Inet.

You can wear your boots out in the country after reading the Sports+Outdoorsection of Men’s Fitness. After you subscribe you will know what exercise routines you will need months ahead of the change in the weather. Snowboarding for example, requires exercises that will increase your agility and help you avoid injury. The seasonal equipment articles will also inform you on the latest safety practices as the editors are in contact with the topline manufacturers.

There is the Ultimate Babe section where there are pictured tastefully swimsuited actresses, models, singers and dancers. If your girfriend (or Mom) objects to this you can carefully cut them out and mail them to me.

The Key to any exercise program is doing it on a schedule. Even the most highly-motivated of us slip and backslide into eating a whole large pizza and a half-a-gallon of icecream, Men’s Fitness read on a regular basis will provide you with the information and inspiration to progress to being as fit as you can be.

Once you establish a fitness goal(s), it becomes extremely important for you to take ownership of that goal(s).

Many people do not reach their fitness goals because of their lack of accountability to themselves.

For example, if you are overweight and your goal is to lose 30 pounds in 3 months, then you need to take ownership of this goal and the time frame to reach it. If an individual doesn’t take ownership of his/her health goals, then those goals are not authentic. They aren’t real or tangible. The goals become abstract or blurred. Accountability to oneself is lost. The work, energy, time, and effort involved during the process phase of a person’s fitness goals does not occur.

Taking ownership over your fitness goals provides that individual with true meaning for one’s goals.

It allows for people to take the initiative to improve their own well-being. By taking ownership, the person becomes accountable to oneself. Meaning, initiative, and accountability as linked to an individual’s fitness goals offers one a deep sense of fulfillment.

Having this strong foundation in place when taking the first steps toward one’s health goals is critical to the achievement of those goals.

Being responsible for your own goals, habits, behaviors, and lifestyle is vital to fitness success. Establishing ownership of your fitness goals and getting the results you need will give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

You will not only be able to transfer this approach from one fitness goal to the next, but you’ll also be able to convey the knowledge you gain from your fitness journey to other areas of your life, such as work, family, finance, and so on.

The foundation for achievement of any fitness goal(s) begins with claiming that goal(s) as your own. It provides us with a powerful blueprint to follow on life’s path.

So, take ownership of your fitness. Best of luck to you.