The biggest exercise myths or why it’s hard to bear

The pandemic has had a very significant impact on human health, especially for the coronavirus itself. It is no exaggeration to say that many people have gained weight precisely because of the pandemic, even those who have never had a problem exercising before. Its reintegration into the daily plan is therefore more than necessary.

Like every year, millions of people are now considering changing their diet and exercising to at least regain their pre-pandemic weight. But, like every year, there is a real risk that their enthusiasm will last a week or two, for some more capable even a month, and then all the extra effort will wear off.

To avoid this, if possible, Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, suggests taking a different approach. Because according to him, the current tips and tricks are not as effective as they seem. This is, after all, demonstrated by figures which show that many people in developed countries don’t spend even 150 minutes a week on a regular basis, which many experts consistently recommend.

“In my opinion, we will do better if we neglect the strange world we live in and focus more on the physical activity of our ancestors and what it looks like in other cultures. Related to this is the revelation of several exercise myths. Unfortunately, dismissing them won’t make you an Olympic athlete, but it will help you land on a new, undescribed list without feeling bad about the movement or its defined forms,” ​​Lieberman said. at the Guardian.

Myth #1 – Exercise is normal

Once you decide to do anything in life, it usually involves physical activity – walking to the store, working, etc. It’s completely automatic and not forced. On the other hand, when it comes to exercise, it means physical activity performed for better physical condition.

“You may think exercise is just a normal activity, but it’s actually a modern way of moving,” says the professor.

Thousands of years ago, people were physically active for only two reasons: when necessary or beneficial. Necessary activities included foraging for food and other things needed to survive. Activities that were rewarded with something included dancing, games, or activities to develop certain skills. But no one was running a marathon or lifting weights back then just to “not come down” physically.

Myth #2 – Avoiding all effort means you are lazy

The phenomenon of modern times is not to be lazy and to practice any movement as much as possible. An example for all – instead of going down the escalator, it is better to go up the stairs if possible. Anyone who doesn’t is automatically lazy. Really?

In the past, when there were no escalators and, moreover, not enough food, people developed an instinct to avoid unnecessary exertion that would cost them calories that could be used elsewhere at a critical time. . And that instinct is with people to this day. Accept it as a fact and don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to.

Myth #3 – Sitting is a new smoking

Perhaps everyone has recently heard that frequent sitting is an unpleasant phenomenon of modern times, which can accordingly shorten our lives. “Yes, too much physical inactivity is harmful, but something as normal as sitting cannot be demonized. In other cultures, even active collectors and hunters have spent a similar number of hours to that of modern humans,” says Lieberman.

However, what is increasing are the so-called unhealthy ways of sitting. That is, when we sit in one piece and in an inappropriate position for a long time. In contrast, those who get up every 15 minutes wake up their metabolism and enjoy longer-term health.

Myth #4 – Our ancestors were industrious, strong and fast

It’s a common myth that people who weren’t affected by modern civilization were super strong and fast. But according to experts, this is not true. Most hunters and gatherers were naturally in better shape, but they lacked significant strength.

Myth #5 – You don’t lose weight by walking

Until recently, almost every weight loss program involved some form of exercise. Recently, however, it has been said that you cannot lose weight even during exercise, because most training programs do not burn the required amount of calories – in addition, they starve us, which gives us a greater appetite.

According to experts, it is true that you lose weight faster with diet than with gentler exercise in the form of 150 minutes of brisk walking per week. However, if you increase this interval and increase the intensity, you can also promote gradual weight loss with this form of movement, as well as prevent unwanted weight gain.

Myth #6 – You damage your knees during

Running is one of the relatively simple ways to move. But many people reject it on the grounds that they will destroy their knees. This fear is not so unfounded, as the knees really are a common injury site for runners. However, it is not true that the knees and other joints wear out too much with an excessive load.

On the contrary, a number of quality studies show that running, brisk walking, and other activities keep your knees healthy. The trick to avoiding the knee pain that scares some people is to learn how to run properly and set a reasonable workout duration.

Myth #7 – It’s normal to be less active as you age

Do you think that after many years of hard work, you finally deserve a rest and don’t have to spend so much time moving around? Error. Staying physically active as you age has its benefits – movement stimulates countless processes in the body that contribute to its regeneration. Plus, many studies have shown that the older we get, the healthier exercise is.

Myth #8 – There is an optimal time and type of exercise

According to Lieberman, exercise has recently become a “prescription” thing. Many doctors who advise their patients to lose weight follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization – that adults should get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week at medium intensity or 75 minutes at high intensity.

In reality, however, this is still only general advice, as the exact “dose” of exercise depends on a number of factors for each person – condition, age, history of injury, as well as health issues are important.

But it’s always good to remember one thing – even a short workout is better than nothing. Even just one hour a week has its benefits. If you increase the time, the better. However, excessive workload is not good, it will not bring additional benefits. It is also good to change the type of exercise.

Myth #9 – Just force yourself to do it

For many people, exercise is something to avoid if they can, it’s a simple fact. Therefore, a “just force” statement won’t work much better than advising an avid smoker to “quit.”

“Remember that we evolved to be physically active for two reasons – because it is necessary or beneficial. So find ways to do both. Make exercise a necessity that will enrich you. a social affair, for example. If you agree with your friends that you will train together regularly, not only will that keep you involved, but you will also have fun and support each other, ”advises Professor Lieberman.


Do you exercise regularly?

Yes, in all circumstances

Yes, although I have calmed down a bit during the pandemic

Before, yes, but I stopped completely during the pandemic

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