Exercise Myths & Facts


Myth 1:  “I’ve got an exercise program that will help flatten my tummy, lose inches from my thighs, and firm up my flabby arms.” 

Fact:  There is no such thing as spot reducing.  You can “fling” your arms and legs, and “crunch” your abs and still not achieve the results you want. 

Myth 2:  “When doing an exercise program, I need a high protein diet.” 

Fact:  Protein requirements don’t increase in proportion to other components of the diet with exercise.  In fact, protein-need as a percentage of calories decreases as exercise increases.  What needs to increase is the percentage of calories from fat.  Those who are overweight need to consume their own fat.  Those who are lean need to eat extra fat.  High protein diets can eventually create a catabolic state (see catabolic process below under facts.) 

Myth 3:  “If my workouts aren’t yielding satisfactory gains in strength, stamina, and/or weight loss, then I must workout harder and/or more often.” 

Fact:  Over-training sabotages the efforts of good exercise. Only a few minutes of extra exercise can constitute over-training keeping you in a catabolic state.  As you exercise more efficiently, you will find out how little time it takes to achieve results. 

Myth 4:  “The best way to strengthen my cardiovascular system to prevent heart attacks and strokes is ‘aerobic’ exercise such as long distance running and cycling.” 

Fact:  Long distances can overburden your cardiovascular system.  You need to learn how to strengthen it without overburdening it with Interval Workouts.

More Facts 

Exercise is a two edged sword.  It has the potential of creating great results, but it also has the potential of doing more harm than good, if done improperly, too frequently and/or for too long in duration.  When stressed by exercising, muscle fibers break down (catabolic process); then, over the next 48 hours with proper rest and nutrition, they rebuild and get a little bigger and stronger (anabolic process.) What most people fail to understand is that more is not better.  If muscles haven’t completed the rebuilding, anabolic process, from the last workout when a new one begins, they never repair and rebuild.

Also, when exercising, the body relies on glucose (sugar) in the blood stream and glycogen (sugar) in the muscles for energy.  Depending on how much sugar is stored in the blood and muscles, it can take a long time before the fat burning mode kicks in.  Traditional aerobic exercise takes anywhere between 30-60 minutes to use up the glycogen stores.  Anaerobic exercise such as strength training and interval training, when done properly, will boost metabolism and increase the ability to burn fat more efficiently.

The fastest and easiest way to burn fat is by building muscle through strength training.  As muscle mass increases, metabolism increases.  Example: If you gain 4 pounds of muscle, you burn over 200 extra calories a day just from the added muscle mass.  That is equivalent to running 2 miles a day or 14 miles a week without taking a step! Proper strength training workouts can be accomplished in minutes a day rather than long tedious ones. See Grunt & Growl Workouts.  They produce long lasting results not just temporary ones.  They also help reduce cravings for sugar and starches.

Along with strength training workouts, interval training should be incorporated into your program. See Grizzly Bear Interval Training.  They increase the strength and stamina of your heart and lungs.

I have a great program that can help monitor your progress by evaluating your muscle mass, body fat, calorie intake, and exercise calories with exercises you do everyday.  Why waste your time and effort with exercise without goals and without a reliable way to monitor your progress?  Most people evaluate their progress by weight loss. Unfortunately, I have found that it can be very misleading.  Let me help you create more E-N-E-R-G-Y in your life! Come in for a full evaluation.

E – Evaluation. Establish baselines (Bio-Markers) that evaluate and monitor your progress. 

N – Nutrition.  Learn what foods and nutrients you should consume for improved health. 

E – Exercise.  Learn what’s best for you, Interval training, Strength training or both. 

R – Rest.  Learn how much rest you need between workouts and otherwise.

G – Generates.  Learn to be pro-active and create rather than degenerate.

Y – Youthfulness.  Isn’t that what we all long for?

If you have questions, please call or email me at gbirdsley@msn.com.

Dr. Galen

Birdsley Health & Wellness Center

1360 South Main Street

Salt Lake City, Utah  84115

(801) 467-7141

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