Do you feel like your pounding the pavement at the gym, but not seeing the results you desire? You’ve probably fallen victim to at least one of the common fitness myths that are floating around out there. Below, I discuss the 3 fitness myths that I get asked about most often.
Myth: Running is bad for your knees
Fact: A Stanford University study found that older runners' knees were no less healthy than those of people who don't run. While running is safer on the joints than contact sports like football, it's not totally harmless. Did you know that women are four to six times as likely to be at risk of serious knee injuries from running as men? This is because women tend to have an imbalance in the strength ratio between their quadriceps and hamstrings, which can increase the risk of ACL injuries. For women who enjoy running, I recommend doing a total body strength workout at least twice a week in addition to your regular jogs to help build up the muscles that support the knees. When you incorporate cross training to your weekly exercise routine, you are likely able to improve your running time, while decreasing the chance of injury.
Myth: You need to exercise and sweat for 45 minutes straight to get a health benefit.
Fact: Even if you've got just half an hour to spare a day—or a mere 10 minutes—you have more than enough time to improve your cardiovascular health. More and more studies are pointing to the power of short workouts—and some even suggest that quick, more intense sessions could be better for you. In research from Arizona State University published last year, people had consistently lower blood pressure readings on average when they split their daily walk into three 10-minute segments rather than tackling one 30-minute stroll. But while this may be enough to keep up your general health, you'll still need to get more active most days of the week if you're trying to drop some pounds. I recommend aiming for at least 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every week to get the best results in terms of weight loss.
Myth: If I cut back on sleep and get up early to get to the gym, I’ll lose more weight
Fact: Skipping sleep can CAUSE weight gain.
Women in an American Journal of Epidemiology study who slept less than seven hours every night were more likely to gain weight; other research has shown that even partial sleep deprivation increases your body’s production of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger and increased eating. If you want to exercise in the morning, be sure to get to bed early the night before so that you don’t miss out on any sleep.