Let’s do a little myth-busting

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Fitness myths have amazing magical powers of sticking, says expert Mel Mitchell – even when there’s solid scientific evidence to the contrary.

As a personal trainer I hear the same comments and myths that surround the fitness industry all the time – and some of the most frequent are the ones which put people off giving things a go.

Running is bad for your knees.
Yes, of course – if you over do the running then it may result in overuse injuries. But then again that applies to all forms of exercise.
There is a common misconception that running will also result in arthritis later on in life. There is actually growing evidence that running recreationally can help your knees, and protect them against the development of knee osteoarthritis. And if you already have osteoarthritis, running can be beneficial in terms
of improving the symptoms.
Aside from the benefits for osteoarthritis, running also improves other aspects of the knee joint, not to mention the huge amount of other general health benefits. It is safe to say that the benefits of running far outweighs the risks.

Strength training makes women get bulky
Another comment I hear countless times is. Yes, absolutely – women will build muscle tissue if they start lifting weights. That’s sort of the point. But no, they won’t get excessively bulky.
Physiologically, the build up of muscle tissue in women is limited by natural hormones. Women have higher levels of oestrogen and lower levels of testosterone compared to men, which means that strength training tones the muscles and raises metabolism, rather than building ‘bulk’.
Strength training also encourages women to produce more growth hormone – which helps metabolise fat and aids in reducing the effects of the ageing process.
Ultimately, strength training should not be shied away from based on the fear of bulking up. In fact, strength training plays a valuable part in any fitness routine.

Speak to a professional
It is always worth having a chat with fitness professionals; there is plenty of contradictory advice out there and so many myths. Do not be put off by common misconceptions; chances are there will be research and evidence that proves otherwise.

by Mel Mitchell

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