Exercise myths that keep you saying "I hate exercise."

exercise mythsIt's another of those exercise myths that you need to have a session at the gym that 'nearly killed you'

There are more exercise myths and more information about fitness and exercise now than ever before. Never before have so many magazines, newspapers, TV and radio programs and books been available on the 'E' and the 'F' words. 

E-x-e-r-c-i-s-e:  but how do we know what are exercise facts because conflicting advice abounds?  F-i-t-n-e-s-s:  which our culture seems to have hi-jacked to mean 'lean' when it really means 'able' and 'capable.'

One of the many exercise myths I want to explode is that you have to join a gym and do aerobic exercise or Crossfit and workout till you drop to stay metabolically healthy.  But moving and staying active are a part of life that's really important.  Think about it, when everything in the body stops moving, it's because you've died.

Sometimes though in order to experience the benefits of exercise, we need to first get a feel for some of the exercise myths that abound. And for me, one of the things I've learned is NOT exercising to lose weight but rather exercising to gain health - the motivation behind 'why' we do things makes a big difference to how we experience them.

Exercise myths - no pain no gain

How many times have you, in the fashion of the Biggest Loser TV shows (you know where you nearly kill yourself?), started that exercise regime with almost military like zeal? Only to have it fall by the wayside?  It's one of those exercise myths that there is no gain without pain.  Start off slowly, and allow your body to catch up in strength, flexibility and speed.  It's an exercise fact that starting off doing too much too soon, results in a high drop-out rate and injuries.

It's an exercise myth that you can't do too much exercise.  Yes - you can!  It's an exercise fact that you can become so obsessive about exercise that you get exercise bulimia or possibly bigorexia.  Neither of which are healthy for either your body or your mind...or for your life.

Despite enough exercise information to sink a battleship - those home exercise machines stand gathering cobwebs, gym contracts expire barely used (about 50% of all those bought) and those running shoes lie dormant in your cupboard for months. 

But because much of what you hear about exercise is myths, all the exercise information out there only seems to mention the physical side of the equation but truth is… the fact that you’ve gone back to couch-potato status, is only half the problem. The other half is that each time we give up on an exercise program we also land up flooding our bodies with are health-eroding Guilt neuropeptides! I you’re anything like I was – you can hear that harsh inner critic giving you hell. You can hear it saying things like: “C’mon…I mean, how difficult can it be to do 30 little minutes of aerobic exercise (another exercise myth....supposedly the only kind of exercise that counts) 4-5 times a week? You’re a weak-willed, good for nothing!” 

We do this over and over - chastising and berating ourselves. And we do this even when we how dismal the maintenance of exercise programs is – so it's not as if we are alone.

Thought-Power & Exercising

It's an exercise myth that we hate exercising.  Here's some exercise information that may surprise you: We hate the thought of exercising.  We hate the effort it takes to get changed into gym clothes, the time it takes to get there, the idea that we're lazy if we don't want to work out like a mad man.  It's an exercise fact - that we were born to move and that when we find the movement that's right for us then exercise becomes body-fun.

One of the prevalent exercise myths is that we hate exercise

Did you notice the word ‘thought’ in that sentence? Most people read over it and read “I hated exercise” because that’s what resonates with them as their own truth. 

You just haven't found a way to make exercise fun yet.  I don't even like calling it exercise - that sounds like something to avoid.  But the joy of movement, or body-fun, or play....now those excited me.

Just like dieting, I had to change my relationship with dieting using 'a mind make-over.' because all the exercise information in the world wasn’t going to change the fact that the real problem started with the misconception that I hated exercise. 

The change has to happen in your MIND and when it gets transformed there then moving your body in fun ways can become something to look forward too.

The problem is we have psychological hooks about exercise. It’s the same as thinking that food is our enemy instead of thinking of it as fuel. When we think of exercise as a bore and chore instead of fun and en-joy-ment – we’ve just got the wrong mindset about it. 

  • We need a mind makeover.
  • We need to find a reason to exercise that is sustainable.
  • We need to find exercise we enjoy....for example I love yoga, it keeps me supple, it's builds strength and balance, it helps to clear my mind and leaves me feeling peaceful.  But I hate bootcamps.  If you love bootcamps but hate yoga - then do bootcamps.  Find what works for you. 

Exercise myth #1:

Aerobic exercise is the only exercise that counts.

Myth #2:

There's a right and a wrong way to do exercise.

Myth #3:

Just join a gym.  If gyms turn you on that’s fabulous – keep going. 

Exercise myth #4:

Push through the pain to get places.

Exercise lie #5

You can't take fitness too seriously. Really? What nonsense!

Myth #6

You can't be fat and fit and metabolically healthy.

Exercise fact #7

There's this one perfect workout that works for everyone.

Myth #8

There's one way to go... no pain = no gain.

Exercise myths be dammed - watch this TED talk about perceptions

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