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Top 5 myths about exercise

Top 5 myths about exercise

·673 words·4 mins· 0 · 0 ·
Pritam Sharma
Author
Pritam Sharma

Biological systems are messy and exercise is no different. We want simple answers for complex problems.

Myth 1: Sitting is bad

Sitting
Contrary to popular belief, sitting itself is not inherently bad for our health. Blaming chairs and sitting for extended periods is oversimplifying the issue. In non-western and non-industrial societies, people sit just as much as we do, and it is considered normal. Studies have shown that the problem lies in long uninterrupted periods of inactive sitting. It is the sedentary behavior associated with sitting for extended periods without movement that can have negative health impacts. Instead of demonizing sitting, we should focus on finding healthier ways to sit, such as taking frequent breaks, incorporating movement and exercise, and avoiding prolonged periods of inactivity.

Myth 2: Walking is not effective for weight loss

Walking

There has been a recent debate suggesting that exercise is not necessary for weight loss. However, historically, exercise has always been recommended alongside a healthy diet for weight management. While walking for 20 minutes a day may not lead to significant weight loss in the short term, engaging in regular physical activity and exercise can contribute to weight loss. Long-term studies have shown that exercise plays a crucial role in preventing weight regain after dieting. Incorporating exercise into a weight loss journey is beneficial not only for weight management but also for overall health and well-being.

Myth 3: Physical activity declines with age

Many people believe that as we age, physical activity should decrease, and it is a time to relax. However, this notion is incorrect. Exercise is a fundamental part of human biology, even as we age. Hunter-gatherer societies and individuals in non-industrial societies remain physically active well into their grandparent years. Exercise during aging helps maintain healthy immune systems, skeletal systems, reproductive systems, and brain health. It reduces the vulnerability to various diseases and contributes to overall longevity. Therefore, exercise should be promoted and embraced as a natural and essential part of our lives, regardless of age.

Myth 4: Running causes arthritis

Running
One common myth is that running is detrimental to joint health, particularly the knees, and leads to arthritis. However, scientific evidence does not support this claim. Running, when done with proper form and technique, does not increase the risk of developing arthritis. In fact, studies have shown that regular running can have positive effects on joint health by stimulating healthy cartilage and supporting overall joint function. It is essential to focus on running with proper form and gradually increasing intensity to minimize the risk of running-related injuries.

Myth 5: Everyone needs eight hours of sleep

8Hours sleep
The belief that everyone needs exactly eight hours of sleep is a common misconception. Epidemiological and historical evidence does not support this notion. Different individuals have varying sleep needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation. Studies conducted in non-electrified regions show that people tend to sleep around six and a half to seven hours on average. While seven hours of sleep is often associated with optimal health and longevity, it is important to listen to our bodies and prioritize quality sleep over a specific number of hours. Stressing about meeting an arbitrary eight-hour requirement can be counterproductive and negatively impact sleep quality.

In conclusion, it is crucial to question and dispel common myths related to sitting, exercise, aging, running, and sleep. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, understanding the scientific evidence behind these topics helps us make informed decisions about our health. Sitting itself is not inherently bad, but prolonged periods of inactivity should be minimized. Exercise plays a significant role in weight management and overall well-being. Physical activity should be embraced throughout our lives, including during the aging process. Running, when done correctly, does not lead to arthritis and can have positive effects on joint health. Sleep needs vary among individuals, and prioritizing quality sleep is more important than obsessing over a specific number of hours. By debunking these myths, we can approach these aspects of our health with a better understanding and make choices that support our overall well-being.