The world these days seems to be urging each and everyone of us to exercise.
Here are a few newly discovered facts people should know about maintaining good health through physical activities:
1. You have a greater risk of having a heart attack when you run a marathon. This is true. A study conducted by the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface Hospital revealed that running a marathon can cause short-term damage to your heart. The study included 14 athletes, who all showed signs of heart stress after running the Manitoba Marathon. No long-term effects, however… were revealed as all the runners' hearts returned to normal function after one week of relaxation. The key to minimizing heart damage is proper training.
2. Lifting weights quickly increases fat burn. This is false. Blazing through your exercise makes you use momentum rather than muscle strength. It also makes your body more prone to injury. It is still better to do each rep a bit more slowly, counting to three every time you lift, and then counting again as you put the weight down. Just don't do your exercises too slowly as this can sometimes lead to a torturous feeling and make you give up your work out more easily.
3. Stretching is important before a run. The fact is even stretching can lead to injuries. Many Olympic coaches no longer advise the pre-run stretch. What is important is that you have a brief warm up, say about 10 to 15 minutes and then do some stretching exercises after you run. Static stretches lasting for about 30 seconds each that are not too aggressive will do an excellent job of preventing muscle injury.
4. The less you weigh, the healthier you are. This is pure fiction. Your body weight is not the only indicator of how healthy you are. Better measures of health are resting heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. And even your body mass index is not a good indicator of how much fat you really have. Studies have shown that even people whose BMIs are within the "healthy" range (20 to 24.9) may have as much as 20 percent excess internal fat. And the only effective way to reduce these internal fat deposits is to do regular exercise.