March 2, 2008

Exercise Tips and Myths

Walking is a great excercise. University professor gives tips about exercise.Exercise Tips: University professor gives tips about exercise. K-State expert on physical fitness responds to exercising myths. How much do you really know about exercise? David Dzewaltowski, associate professor of kinesiology at Kansas State University, gives tips on what is true and false about exercise.

* "I'm too old to exercise." FALSE - Most people associate biological aging with a lack of being able to do certain activities and a lot of physical problems that really aren't tied to being old. Most of the lack of function that you see in people is not due to being old, but rather due to not being active throughout their life.

* "You can't start exercising when you are an older adult." FALSE - Some elderly people who formerly used wheelchairs have been able to walk again by starting exercise programs to increase muscle strength and endurance. So it's really never too late, he says.

* "I can lose weight in a certain spot on my body by exercising that spot." FALSE - You cannot lose body fat by exercising a particular region of the body. The best way to lose body fat is to maintain a regular program of activity over a long period of time. If you stick with a program for a long period of time, it will lead to caloric expenditure.

* "Stretching is important." TRUE - It maintains a range of motion and prevents injury. It's also the key to athletic performance and functional mobility in older adults.

* "Walking is better than running." TRUE & FALSE - It depends on what your goal for exercising is. Walking is a great excercise. Most people in the population are at a fitness level where walking is probably the best exercise. There's not a lot of impact, and you can stress your system at a moderate level so that it will improve your fitness level and burn calories.

Running is also good. However, you have to be fairly fit to run. You have to have muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. You also need to have a low body fat level, so that you're not carrying a lot of weight and causing impact-related problems. Anyone can progress to the stage where running is a good activity, but it takes a long time to get there.

* "If I had exercise equipment in my home I would exercise more." FALSE - Data suggests that if you place a piece of exercise equipment next to a television set, you're going to choose the TV set. Just because it's convenient doesn't mean you're going to use it.

Used with permission.

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