Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Exercise Myths and Facts

We spoke about Exercise Myths at our last meeting. Since we didn't quite cover all the facts, I wanted to lightly review the material here. Just talking about exercise in our meeting inspired me to renew my energy and enthusiasm for moving more. I made myself go on the treadmill this morning BEFORE I hit the computer! (I'm sure my online scrabble-buddies are wondering where I am.) I also have a couple of two pound weights that I use for resistance exercise.
Thank you to Mindy of Mindy's Miracle Fitness, who used her knowledge of being a Personal Trainer to help us with some of the questions on exercise and firming up. Here are the MYTHS, followed by the FACTS.
1. I should eat special foods to provide extra energy when I'm working out.
2. If I start exercising, I'll gain weight because I'll be building muscle.
3. Aerobic activity, like walking, is all I need.
4. Muscle weighs more than fat.
5. I should always lose weight if I follow my food plan perfectly and earn 4 activity POINTS® values per day, but don't use (eat) them.

1. Research has shown that moderately active people don't need special foods or supplements. Well-balanced meals supply the necessary energy and nutrients. Active people do need to drink sufficient water, so make sure you drink a little extra on the days you exercise.

2. A woman doing resistance training by using her own body weight or light weights is unlikely to build enough muscle that would account for weight gain. Resistance training minimizes loss of muscle that normally accompanies weight loss. If you experience a gain on the scale after doing more resistance training one week, and your food plan has mostly stayed the same, your body could be holding water weight, which it will eventually get rid off.

3. Because of the lean mass diminished with each pound lost, resistance training to regain that muscle is recommended and necessary. Spend some time on the workout section on http://www.weightwatchers.com/ for strength training and toning ideas. (When we lose weight, we lose 70-75% fat and the rest is muscle!) Bring back the muscle- that's what helps your metabolism burn faster!

4. A pound of muscle weights the same as a pound of fat. Since muscle takes up less space than fat, you might find that you can wear smaller clothing at the same weight once you start doing resistance training several times a week. You will probably look leaner , too.

5. There are many factors that go into weight loss, so don't give up if the scale doesn't drop consistently every week. Experiment by eating some of your activity POINTS values one week, all of them another week and see what happens. Keep up the good work!

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