When it comes to physical activity, myths and half-truths are rampant. We are especially vulnerable to falling for myths when we search for shortcuts or other too-good-to- be-true “secrets” to maximizing our results. However, some of the more pervasive fitness misconceptions may simply be long-held beliefs about the best ways to work out that were accepted truths at one time but were subsequently disproven by new research.
True or False Question 3
– Small bouts of exercise don’t count; you need to go for at least 30 minutes at a time.
Fact – False. As long as you put in 10 consecutive minutes, it counts! Exercising for 30 minutes allows you to take care of your aerobic exercise needs in one bout—nice and efficient! But, if exercising in multiple short bouts per day makes it easier and more likely that you’ll to stick to an exercise program, go for it! Just make sure to accumulate enough short bouts to add up to your daily goal. For example, if you’d planned on getting 30 minutes of exercise on Tuesday, you could take a brisk 10-minute walk at lunch time, do 10 minutes (after the warm-up) of a Real Moves video before dinner, and walk your dog at a good clip for 10 minutes at the end of the evening. Although the bouts may be short, they should still be aerobic—meaning challenging enough so your heart beats harder and you’re somewhat out of breath. If you follow that one rule of thumb, you should absolutely feel free to break up your workout into 10- or 15-minute chunks throughout the day!
True or False Question 4
– Exercise is bad for your knees.
Fact – Mostly False. Research has found that vigorous, low-impact forms of exercise—such as walking, cycling, or swimming—are good for the knees, even if you already have osteoarthritis. In fact, land-based therapeutic exercises (such as muscle strengthening, walking or tai chi) have been found to significantly reduce pain and improve physical function among those with osteoarthritis of the knee. However, high-impact activities that involve jumping, running, or other jarring moves can be stressful on the knees, especially if you already have knee pain. Listen to your body and find a level of impact that doesn’t hurt, but still raises heart rate and puts you a little out of breath.
Come back tomorrow for some more true and false questions about exercise.