MYTH 1: No pain, no gain.
This is our absolute least favorite exercise myth as it sets the perfect scene for injuries.
If you are a competitive, target-driven individual, and you think that unless you feel the pain then you haven’t worked enough to achieve your target, then think again. One classic example: you are doing exercises involving knee bending and extending, you feel your knees hurting or your lower back aching and you think to yourself, ‘that’ll be aright, no pain no gain’.
If this sounds like you, please note that you’re making a mistake. Pain is one of the ways our body communicates to us. If you’re hurting during your exercise, maybe you’re overloading your body and need to reduce the weights, maybe you need to align your body better and engage your stabilising muscles more. What you don’t want to do is keep going! Our advice is to always ask your instructor so they can tailor the exercise to your needs.
Check our related article ‘the difference between ‘good’ pain and ‘bad’ pain after exercise‘ for more information.
MYTH 2: A good exercise session is one which leaves me feeling sore.
The soreness you feel after exercising is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). It’s brought on by small tears in your muscles fibres as a result of overloading, either from a demanding session or new movement patterns.
Feeling sore after a session could be an indicator of a tough session, but it doesn’t necessary mean not feeling sore is an indicator of a less effective session. The degree to which you feel sore is a poor indicator of exercise effectiveness.
It’s not necessary to feel sore after every session to see results. Feeling sore is your body’s way of saying that it needs recovery before the next session. If you consistently leave your body feeling sore will eventually lead to overloading, and injuries.
As you get stronger and more comfortable with the level of exercise intensity, you should feel less DOMS as a result of improved muscle endurance. Therefore, if you’re feeling less muscles soreness in the same class after a while, congratulate yourself – your muscles have improved endurance.
On the other hand, if you never get sore, there may be room to challenge yourself a bit more in the next session, or add some new varieties to your exercise program. Remember, using different muscles can also bring about DOMS!
MYTH 3: If you do more cardio you’ll lose weight.
This is a fallacy on 2 fronts –
1. Although it is true that cardio exercises should be part of a weight loss program, exercise alone won’t get you to your goal. Your diet is just as important, if not more so when getting into shape. Look for a good nutritionist that can design a meal plan and give you advise based on your dietary needs (contact the Leap studio to get in touch with such a nutritionist). Rather than going for a ‘quick fix’ diet, opt for a sustainable life-long way of eating. After all, ‘we are what we eat’.
2. Effective weight loss i.e. one that is sustainable and healthy, requires building of lean muscles. Muscles burn more energy even at rest state, giving you higher basal metabolic rate, which is your energy consumption when resting.
You just can’t build lean muscles with cardio alone, the most effective exercise to build lean muscle is resistance training, think Pilates, weight lifting, and exercises like push-ups, weight bearing squats.
A 2014 study (and subsequent studies) conducted by the Skidmore College in the US found that a multi-dimensional exercise program helped overweight participants between the ages of 40-60 lose the most body fat percentage whilst gaining lean muscle.
This multi-dimensional exercise program included resistance exercises, interval exercises (cardio), stretching, and endurance exercises.
This is why Leap offers the mix of classes that we do – by doing a combination of the different classes, it gives you a quality, multi-dimensional exercise program.
MYTH 4: Exercising 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week is enough for good health.
Wouldn’t that be great? Well, think again! People need a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise at least 3 times a week to stay healthy. And that means working up a sweat each time. Unfortunately, that can’t be achieved with just 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.
MYTH 5: People who exercise need less sleep
People who exercise need ‘more’ sleep than those who don’t. However, one of the benefits of regular exercise is that you are going to fall asleep faster and you are going to sleep more deeply, so you are going to have more restful sleep and feel more refreshed.