Staying in shape can make you feel better about yourself, make you more awake and alert and, best of all, it will keep you looking younger and help you live for longer too. More than just about any other topic though, fitness is the subject of many myths and of half-truths, so here are ten interesting facts about fitness that you can rely on:
1. Exercise energizes you
You might be surprised to learn that a morning workout won’t tire you; it will give you more energy for the whole of the day. Being fit will give you more stamina and a morning workout will release endorphins into your blood that will make you feel more energetic throughout the day.
2. Just a ten minute workout a day will make a difference to your fitness
On the days that you can’t do a full workout, don’t leave it out altogether. Just a quick, ten minute workout will help maintain your fitness and it will raise the heart rate, so it will still have benefits for your cardiovascular system.
3. You don’t have to work up a sweat to burn calories
The amount that you sweat is not linked in any way to how many calories you are burning. Sweat is merely your body’s way of cooling you down. You can sweat, just sitting in a hot room, but that doesn’t mean that you are losing any fat.
4. Exercise helps you fight disease
You already know that exercise is good for you, but did you know just how good it is? Staying fit will help stop high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, arthritis and it will lower your cholesterol levels and boost your immune system. It can also help to ward off some of the signs of ageing and keep you more mobile and active in your later years.
5. Stretching before your workout is not good for you
Including stretching in your workout routine is a good idea, but making it the first thing that you do is not. When you stretch cold muscles, you can damage them. The best thing to do is a short warm up first, followed by your stretching and then your main workout.
6. Exercise is good for the brain
Regular exercise also improves the functioning of your brain. The increased flow of blood to your brain that exercise causes, along with the release of serotonin, will improve your mood and it will help you to think more clearly.
7. Crunches won’t give you a flat belly
One of the most persistent fitness myths is that crunches will slim your midsection. In actual fact, crunches burn very few calories, so, if you want to a slim waist, you will need to combine crunches with a healthy diet and some, calorie burning cardio exercise.
8. You can eat more of what you like when you exercise
Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you are resting. That means, the fitter you are, the more you can eat and, of course, exercise itself burns calories too. That’s not to say that you can go an eating binge though, but it does mean that occasional treat won’t make you pile on the pounds again.
9. Exercise reduces stress
Exercise is also a great way to combat stress. Good workout takes your mind off your problems and the boost that it gives to your brain will help you deal with stressful situations more easily and it can also help ward off depression.
10. Music makes your workouts more effective
Listening to music while you work out doesn’t just relieve the boredom; it actually makes your workout more effective. Research has shown that listening to music makes people work out for longer and with more intensity.