Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fitness: Facts or Fiction by Tammi Jacobs

Fitness Facts and Fiction
Are you one of those people that believes the best way to flatten your abdominal section is to do crunches for hours on end? Then stay tuned into this blog and we will answer any of the exercise, diet and work out myths.

Exercise Question
1.  I used to workout and when I stopped my muscle turned to fat.
Muscle and adipose (fat) tissue are two completely different tissues, and one will never turn into the other. However this situation is a perfect analogy for “use it or lose it”. If you are not using your muscles, they will atrophy, shrink. Additionally, if there has not been an adjustment for less activity concerning caloric intake, fat cells will fill.

Exercise Question
2.  Yo Yo dieting has ruined my metabolism and now it seems impossible to lose weight. Wrong
A person who repeatedly loses and gains weight should not have more trouble trying to reach and maintain a healthy weight than a person attempting to lose weight for the first time. Studies indicate weight cycling does not affect one's metabolic rate - the rate at which the body burns fuel (food) for energy, therefore weight cycling should not affect the success of future weight-loss efforts. A more plausible explanation to difficulty in weight loss is the decrease in lean muscle mass that may have occurred over time and a disproportional rate to fat increase with lack of physical activityMaking regular physical activity as well as healthy eating habits a part of your life will assist maintaining a healthy weight range and improve health overall. One study by the American College of Sports Medicine revealed that much of the problem with the inability to lose weight was not lack of the body’s ability to metabolize nutrients but actually the participants in the study underreported their true food intake by 47% and over reported their physical activity by 51%.
Exercise Question
3.   I should only do cardiovascular exercise while I am trying to lose weight as weight training will adversely affect my weight loss.
Weight training is a very important component of a well balanced workout regime because it helps to increase lean muscle mass which in turn gives the metabolism a boost. Research studies indicate that after age 45, the average person loses about 10% of their lean muscle mass due primarily to lack of physical activity.
    A recent study which followed 164 women in Minnesota, one half of the women participated in weight training 30 minutes to 1 hour most days of the week while the other half did no weight training. The group that participated in weight training lost 3.7 % body fat while the control group did not change.

Exercise Question
4.   Overweight people should not exercise and only focus on diet.  
Not By Any Means  Recently the media and medical profession have begun to focus on obesity as not only a personal health issue, but as a driving force of the impending medical crisis. While evidence shows a genetic component, lifestyle factors are probably more important when the goal is to reverse obesity.
    My recommendation for people who are overweight (BMI 25) or obese (BMI 30) is a balance of healthy nutrition and exercise. But, what does that really mean. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 200 minutes of exercise per week – translation - 40 minutes per day on 5 days each week. The same study also revealed another interesting fact concerning caloric intake and activity level. Exercise does work and weight loss will occur if more calories are burned than consumed. But, even if a person exercises for an hour, they may not lose weight if they consume an excessive number of calories that day.

Exercise Question
5. Sit ups are the best exercise to give me a flat tummy?    
If your desire is a flat tummy the best exercise for you is cardiovascular activities like, step aerobics, walking, jogging, coupled with a good diet. You must get rid of the layer of fat around the mid section to unveil the muscle hidden beneath. It is also important to note that you can not specify where you lose fat. Spot reduction and toning are another myth all within themselves.
  Keep in mind common exercises for the abdominal and the core like crunches, sit ups, leg lifts, trunk rotations are designed to strengthen and tone the muscles and to help provide support to the core allowing for better posture which is a good thing.  However these exercises will not decrease the waist line and give the flat tummy many people are looking for.

Tammi Jacobs, Health and Wellness Expert
Results Health and Fitness Center Chandler, AZ