Here’s What No One Tells You About Exercising

by Aaron Finch

Exercise is really good for your health, and it’s never too late to start. But there’s so much misinformation out there about what type of exercise is best and how much you should be doing that it can get overwhelming. In this post, we’re going to clear up some of the confusion by giving you straightforward facts about exercising — including common myths and truths. This post on here tells what nobody tells you about exercising.

1. Exercise is good for your heart and lungs.

Regular exercise is great for your cardiovascular system, especially if it’s done regularly at a moderate pace. It strengthens your heart, helps it pump blood more efficiently, improves lung capacity and maintains healthy cholesterol levels. It might even prevent you from developing high blood pressure or needing medication for it. 

The same goes for your lungs. A Duke University study found that people who worked out 3 times a week for 6 months experienced a 62% increase in lung capacity compared to those who didn’t work out at all. Again, you have to do it regularly, but at least you’re off on the right foot.

2. Exercise is especially great for older people as they get older.

This is partially true. The American Heart Association recommends that adults over 65 years of age get 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week — five 30-minute sessions or three 20-minute sessions, for example — in order to stay healthy and strong. This is important because older adults are at higher risk for heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and several types of cancer — all of which can be prevented by staying active. 

However, the AHA also recommends that people work up to this amount slowly as needed; it’s more important to build up regular exercise habits than it is to be “perfect” about them. If a 20- minute workout is all you can do one day, it’s better than nothing — and better than going through the day without any exercise at all.

3. Exercise makes you lose weight.

The relationship between physical activity and weight loss is a little more complicated than this. Exercise can definitely help you lose weight and keep it off, but it often takes a long time for this to happen. If you want to start exercising, it’s better to do some low-intensity exercise like walking or swimming, which can often help with weight loss before you even get started.

And losing weight is only part of the benefits of exercise — regular physical activity has tons of additional perks as well. For example, being physically active can lower your risk for depression, diabetes and heart disease; improve your mental health; lower the risk for dementia and increase life expectancy; and protect your bones as well as other major organs .

4. You should try a “fad” diet to lose weight.

Fad diets like those designed by celebrities or food companies can actually backfire and make you gain weight instead of lose it. So the best plan is to stick with healthy foods (even if, knowingly or not, they’re faddish) and exercise regularly to keep your metabolism running at full speed. Weight loss comes from all over — your brain, your belly, your thighs, even your kneecaps — so all of these places will work together to help you shed pounds if you continue to exercise regularly. The key is: get moving! Even if it’s just a few minutes everyday for the rest of your life.

5. You can punch a wall as a workout.

This one is not good advice, but it’s only half true. Sticking your fist through a wall can help you strengthen your arm muscles and make you more flexible, but depending on how hard you hit the wall and how long you hold it, it could also cause serious damage to your shoulder. You should always be careful about which days you do this kind of exercise because of safety concerns — especially since it’s illegal in some places to hit hard objects with your hands.

6. There’s no excuse for not being active if you’re sedentary at work all day.

If you’re not outside or enjoying an activity like walking or swimming, you might as well just sit down. Add in a little bit of movement at work and that’s the equivalent of five minutes of exercise — which probably wouldn’t be enough to do any real good. But if you swap in a few more movements here and there, like standing up whenever possible, taking breaks to walk around and skipping between meetings with your coworkers, it can help boost your energy levels while making your job more pleasant as well.

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