Fitness Myths Exposed! Questions and Answers – Part 2

Myth: “No pain, no gain! If I don’t feel sore the next day, I haven’t exercised enough.”

Truth: When first starting an exercise program, it is normal to have some muscle soreness within 24 to 48 hours, and it may last for a few days. This is known as “delayed onset muscle soreness,” or DOMS for short. Other than that, however, any soreness you experience is typically associated with an excessive jump in exercise intensity, such as lifting too much weight, working out again too soon, or trying a new exercise. Muscle soreness, says Ronald Paul Pfeiffer, a kinesiology professor at Boise State University in Idaho, is a clear sign that the exercise is too intense and is resulting in enough damage to the exercised muscles to cause pain and swelling.

To minimize DOMS after weight training, always lift only as much weight as can be lifted for eight to 12 repetitions at a time. For aerobic exercise, maintain a moderate pace that allows you to carry on a conversation. Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, should be gradual to the point of feeling mild tension–never pain–within the muscles.

Myth: “I don’t have to exercise because I’m skinny.”

Truth: Some people who are skinny exercise too much. Other people are thin even though they don’t exercise–but they aren’t physically fit. Exercise is important for more than weight control.

Here are just a few more reasons to be active:

  • Better stamina
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength and endurance
  • Stress relief to stay calm and cool
  • Better immune system to stay healthy
  • Better appearance
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Better sleep

Exercise feels good–and it’s fun! It’s beneficial at any age, for any body–that’s a fact no one can argue.

OBJECTIVE

Students will understand some common myths about getting fit. They will demonstrate the ability to locate valid fitness information, produces, and services.

REVIEW/DISCUSS

  1. What is meant by the exercise term DOMS? (When first starting an exercise program, it is normal to have some muscle soreness within 24 to 48 hours, and it may last for a few days. This is known us “delayed onset muscle soreness,” or DOMS.)
  2. Aside from experiencing DOMS, what may muscle soreness mean as a message from your body about your exercise? (It may mean that you have made an excessive jump in exercise intensity, such as lifting too much weight, working out again too soon, or trying a new exercise.)
  3. What can you do to minimize DOMS resulting from your exercise? (Lift only us much weight as can be lifted for 8 to 12 repetitions at a time. For aerobic exercise, maintain a moderate pace that allows you to carry on a conversation. Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, should be gradual to the point of feeling mild tension–never pain–within the muscles.)
  4. What is a recommended frequency and duration of exercise to work toward general health? (The American College of Sports Medicine and the U.S. Surgeon General both recommend approximately 30 minutes of vigorous exercise three to five times per week for improving general health.)
  5. A person’s favorite celebrity may not be an appropriate role model to follow in efforts to become more fit. State some reasons why. (You only get to see and know a little bit of what that celebrity may have done to achieve the appearance and performance seen on TV and in movies. The person may have began with a completely different body type, a schedule that permits unlimited training and nutrition, and a team of high-priced experts, dedicated to providing specific guidance. People who know you, such as coaches and gym teachers, could make better sources of exercise guidance.)
  6. What are some of the benefits of exercise that make it a great habit for health? (better stamina, increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and endurance, stress management, improved immune system functioning, and improved sleep)

ACTIVITY

Help students organize a fitness fair us a service to the community. Break them into committees and have them plan to obtain the resources, materials, and a site. Target all segments of the local community, including preschoolers, school-age youth, college-age young people, adults ages 25 and up, and senior citizens.

TEACHER RESOURCE

A good resource for teachers is the now-classic report “Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General.” An executive summary, a complete report, charts, and fact sheets are all available online.

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