Kevin Neeld - Whether it’s coming from the media, athletes, celebrities, or friends, there are countless exercise myths that are widely accepted as fact. Here are 10 commonly held exercise misconceptions, as well as the real truths to improving your health and performance. ...
via Top 10 Fitness Myths - FoxNews.com.
I've used some of the above article with my own suggestions from various sources. I'd like to hear what you think works, but I'm especially interested in the latest research as far as what works best.
1. Don't do static stretches. Losening your muscles gives your joints less support and leads to more injury. Instead, warm up with exercises that use both joint mobility and muscle activation in order to promote muscular control. Static stretching right before you exercise will decrease your power, speed and balance.
2. Vary your work outs. You will burn more fat and get in shape better if you exercise in many different ways. Try swimming, running, biking, and so on. If your body gets good at doing one thing, you'll have to work harder at that one thing to become fit overall. I run a mile every morning, but do other random things for the rest of my work out. Sit ups, yoga, arm curls, various machines...
3. Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) instead of long distance cardio. You will burn more fat and get in better shape and spend less time exercising. As a runner do this: light jog 3 minutes, alternate 15–20 seconds of hard sprinting with 10 seconds of jogging or walking, 8 to 12 cycles, then 3 minutes of jogging or walking cool down. One study showed that 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produced similar biochemical muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training and similar endurance performance benefits.
7. Use the right shoes. Basketball shoes that reduce ankle motion decrease in sensory and reflexive ability of lower-leg musculature and reduce your balance. Too much cushion in your shoes can protect your feet at the expense of your hips and knees. Too little can give you shin splints. Pay attention to soreness, experiment and find the balance that works for you.
8. Don't do exercises that may injure you. Avoid Behind-the-head lat pulldowns. Instead pull in front of you, keeping your spine straight and abs pulled in and don't pull down below your collar bone. Don't do squats or deep knee bends that bend your knees or hips more than 90 degrees. Don't do seated leg extensions. Instead, to work your quadriceps, do squats or lunges. Don't do thigh machine exercises as these can cause lower back and hip problems. Instead, use leg lifts where you are on your side (lying adduction and abduction). Don't do upright rows since they can compress the nerves int he shoulder area. Instead, do bent-over rows or lateral shoulder raises. (The motion your arms make during jumping jacks.)
9. Get enough sleep. Keep your room as dark as possible. Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day. Don't eat or drink a lot before bed. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and comfortable. Have a relaxing bedtime routine. Lower the lights, take a warm bath, listen to soothing music. Avoid sleeping pills. I need to sleep.
Number 10 will have to wait. ...