Nine common misconceptions about exercise

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It can be hard to include exercise in our busy lives, despite the best of intentions. There are a lot of reasons people don’t exercise, and a lot of misconceptions about exercise.

1. I was fit once, so I don’t need to exercise

Unfortunately, Consistency is the key. Mix it up and keep it interesting as maintaining high levels of physical activity throughout your life is associated with the best health outcomes.

2. Being on your feet all day doesn’t have the same benefit as exercise

To optimise health benefits, increase your level of exercise enough to cause you to sweat a little to at least 150 minutes a week, where possible.

3. Exercise needs to be ten minutes or longer, otherwise its a waste of time

There is no minimum threshold for health benefits, so carry out active daily chores, such as carrying heavy shopping bags and vigorous house or garden work, to improve your health.

4. I have a chronic disease, so I should avoid exercise

Be as active as your condition allows, aiming for 150 minutes a week of moderate activity if possible.

If you have complex health needs, seek medical clearance from a doctor.

5. I’m too old to exercise

Evidence shows that ageing alone is not a cause of major problems until you are in your mid-90s.

And strength, power and muscle mass can be increased, even at this advanced age

6. Exercise will make me thin not necessarily

People who have substantial weight loss goals (over 5% of body weight) and people trying to keep a significant amount of weight off may need to do more than 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity to achieve their goal.

7. I run once a week, but that’s not enough

If you don’t have much time to exercise, even as little as 50 minutes of running once a week at a pace slower than 6mph (9.65km/h) has been shown to result in a decrease in the risk of premature death.

8. I’m pregnant, so I need to take it easy

Physical activity decreases the risk of excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes during pregnancy not feeling well, I shouldn’t exercise.

9. I am not feeling well so I should not exercise

In most other cases, being physically active is safe, but listen to your body and decrease your exercise load if you need to.

 

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