Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top 10 Fitness Myths and Tips

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.
4. Eat a mix of lean protein, whole grains and vegetables. Avoid carbohydrates like pasta. They will make you tired and they will turn into fat. Drink water during your work out and a protein shake immediately  after you work out since protein uptake and protein usage are increased at this time.

5. Get enough rest and active recovery. The stress of exercise signals your body to install upgrades along with repairs. These improvements take time, however. Work hard, rest hard... but that's not the whole story. Continuous training can weaken the strongest athletes. Complete rest may not be the best. Research is showing that active recovery, in the form of low-intensity exercise after a hard workout, helps lactic acid removal, reduces accumulated blood lactate and speeds muscle recovery. In addition to the cool down, low intensity exercise the day after an intense work out speeds recovery and improves relaxation.

6. Do strength training: heavy weights 6 to 8 reps. Work the 11 major muscle groups with different exercises. 1. Quadriceps, 2. Hamstrings, 3. Calves, 4. Chest, 5. Back, 6. Shoulders, 7. Triceps, 8. Biceps, 9. Forearms, 10. Trapezius and 11. Abs. See illustration.

Lift slowly, don't hold your breath, lift enough that you can just barely finish your 6 to 8 reps with good form. Benefits include increased bone density and cardiac function, tendon and ligament strength and toughness, improved joint function, and overall health. Stronger muscles improve posture, provide better support for joints, help maintain good flexibility and reduce the risk of injury from everyday activities.

major muscle groups from rearmajor muscle groups from front

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. ...


zlaja1978 said...

have few questions:
I'm eating herbelife protein shakes like one of sources of protein,and eating what you said also, and avoiding everything that you said, and I feel good. Is this good way?
I can do only exercises that are subscribed by my therapist, and it is swiming, biking (but static bycile), and just walking with some exercises for my back, legs and hands. Is this combined with one above enough to be fit ??

paul said...

you can vastly simplify
3 and 4 is enough

3 = train with cardiometer, 120-140 heartbeat during half an hour 3x a week
4 = follow dunkan diet: high protein - no carb first week.

and a missing one
do a '3km fat-burning run' sunday morning before your copious meals.

zlaja1978 said...

Thank yoou a lot :)