It’s not uncommon for people to want to lose weight after they’re bombarded by images in the media and on advertisements of physically fit people, from fashion magazines to electronic commercials.
With the lack of education available on exercise and health management to the general public, people often begin their new diet and exercise regimen with routines that focus on the cardiovascular system. There is nothing wrong with focusing on cardio as this form of exercise has many benefits, ranging from burning calories to stress reduction.
Cardio is definitely a form of exercise that more should perform, as long as it’s done correctly. Even though this type of exercise can be as simple as walking, jogging or light running, many people actually perform these exercises incorrectly, resulting in little progression and causing frustration in those attempting to lose weight.
In fact, the Sports Injury Clinic reports, “running injuries are very specific due to the repetitive nature of the sport. Injuries are caused either by the bodies own intrinsic factors or by extrinsic factors.”
The Sports Injury Clinic further states that the most common problem is feet that collapse and overpronate cause the leg to turn in and put pressure on the achilles tendon, shin, knee, hip and spine. There are several risks people need to be aware of, but few actually take time to be more informed.
Additional myths that circulate the web that more people should be aware of include:
- Myth: Stretch before you run.
- Fact: You can do an easier jog to warm up and then set your pace to warm up your muscles.
- Myth: Cool downs don’t matter.
- Fact: You can’t take your heart rate up to 60-80% of your maximal heart rate and just stop, sit and stretch. You need to jog slower or walk to keep moving until your heart rate gets below 100bpm safely.
- Myth: You should do cardio before eating breakfast to burn more calories.
- Fact: Your body burns carbohydrates, then fats and then proteins for energy. If you don’t have something to burn effectively, it can’t find the calories to burn and make you smaller. Eat a small snack to get your body started and for a boost of energy.
- Myth: Cardio builds enough muscle to not work legs.
- Fact: It is weight-bearing but not the same as strength training. Although many runners in this community continue to believe that strength training provides no benefits to runners, research has debunked this myth. Strength training improves your injury resistance and overall endurance.
Whether people are trying to lose weight through running, or attempting to maintain a healthy body weight, they need to focus and narrow down on fitness myths that can cause delays in their progression. It’s just a matter of equipping yourself with the right information that can separate you from being a running athlete or causing serious injury to your body.
By Jen Cassetty, M.S. of Exercise Science, NSCA CSCS and ACSM HFS certified