Busting Some Fitness Myths

Posted 09/06/2013 | By HealthCorps

“Pain is a sign that you’re getting the most from your workout”

A little soreness is OK, but significant pain in a muscle or joint can mean that you over-stressed or overstretched a ligament, tendon, or muscle, or it can indicate actual joint injury.  Rest the area for several days, initially icing and then switching to applications of warm, moist heat a couple to several times a day.  If there is little relief, persistent pain or increasing pain, see a health professional.

“Stretching before exercise primes your muscles for the workout”

Recently, experts have taken a new stance on stretching and work outs, strongly suggesting that a warm up before exercise is a good idea, but stretching at the start of a workout is a no-no.  The concern is that stretching “cold muscles,” which describes muscles before they are warm and pliable,  can actually prime them for damage during a workout.  The recommendation is to walk, lightly jog, jump in place or do other active movements to “warm muscles up,” and then proceed with your workout.  Save the stretching for the end of the workout.

(More on the dangers of cold stretching in the September 20th blog)

“Never rest during a workout”

Recent exercise trends suggest that you move quickly from exercise to exercise, to keep your heart rate elevated, so you benefit from an aerobic component during your weight training effort.  That’s fine for circuit training, where you exercise different parts of the body, or for the new Tabata approach to exercise, which encourages very short rest intervals (because the workout itself is short).   Otherwise, short rests periods (30 seconds to a minute in duration) between sets and between different weight-training exercises allows for muscle recovery, and helps to minimize injuries.

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