The fitness world can be a confusing place
Fitness and exercise can be confusing topics because of the huge volume of information on the topic. Unfortunately, not everyone sharing fitness advice is qualified, and even if an individual has certifications and respectable credentials, the advice you get from one expert can often contradict the advice that you get from an equally qualified expert.
If you are on your journey of transformation, this experience is disheartening. You want to do the right thing for you and your health. You want to create change in your life. But it’s not clear what you should do or who you should trust.
With all of the information out there, here are some of the misconceptions we see most often, and knowing them will help you to simplify your Habits of Healthy Motion.
5 Misconceptions About Exercise
Misconception 1: High-intensity exercises are best. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been found to be effective. That much is true, but that does not mean that HIIT is the best kind of exercise for you. If you are not exceptionally fit (which is where most of us start), less intense exercise is safer and more sustainable. If going to the gym is a new part of your routine, ease into the intensity and start with exercises that you can do with safety and with control.
Misconception 2: Formal exercise time is the most important. Scheduling time for exercise throughout your weekly routine is a crucial Habit of Health, but research continues to find that moving as often as we can during the day is a major contributor to longevity. Long periods of sitting (at a desk, for example) are bad for us, so while we should hit the gym regularly, a big part of exercising has to occur as we live out our normal lives. Stand more. Walk more. You might not be breaking a sweat, but you are building health.
Misconception 3: If you want to get healthy, you have to sign up for X exercise program. Fitness marketing is one of the most aggressive kinds of advertising, and they will often tell you that their program is the best and that you will not get the results you want with anything else. A well-rounded program matters, but there is no one singular path that is best for everyone. Instead, find exercises that you enjoy. Maybe you swim instead of run. Maybe you do yoga. Maybe you take group cycling classes. If you have fun, the habit is easier.
Misconception 4: Gyms are judgmental places. Traditionally, gyms have earned a reputation for being unwelcoming to unfit beginners. That may still be true in some places, but overall, more people are celebrating the individuals who are working to create health in their lives. Many fitness communities are excited to support new members (and your health coach can help you to find these kinds of groups), and if you find a place where you don’t feel comfortable, try a new gym as soon as you can.
Misconception 5: It’s too late. Our work around the world has given us the opportunity to hear thousands of transformational stories. Many of our most successful leaders began their journeys in dark places. They felt hopeless and were facing a variety of serious health problems because of their weight and their lifestyle choices. Through the Habits of Health, they changed course. No matter how old you are, no matter how much weight you have to lose, there is a path forward, and it’s not too late to start.
If you have more questions about Habits of Healthy Motion, reach out! Your health coach can point you in the right direction, and Dr. A’s Habits of Health is full of advice as well.
See you at the gym.