Stating the obvious, Wisconsin winters are different than Southern California winters. During my first “real” winter, I quickly learned that if I wanted to exercise outdoors, proper clothing was essential. Back in California I never owned a winter hat, a scarf, gloves, ear muffs, or wool socks. Now I own a few of each. Remember, your clothes act as insulators by trapping warm air. Just be sure to choose materials that allow sweat to pass through. Why? If your clothes can’t provide a layer of “dry” air near the skin, they will increase the amount of heat your body loses as you exercise. Nowadays it’s easy to find many moisture wicking garments from socks to shirts. And don’t forget to protect your ears (earmuffs), eyes (sunglasses or goggles), and neck (scarf). So whether you’re shoveling the driveway, snow-shoeing, or having a snowball fight, stay warm and enjoy the winter.
Although some old fitness fictions, such as “no pain, no gain” and “spot reducing” are fading fast, plenty of popular exercise misconceptions still exist.
Here are four exercise myths revealed:
Exercise Myth 1. Strength training will bulk me up. Getting “bulked up” is a function of diet (lots of calories), genetics (lots of testosterone), and heavy weight lifting (lots of grunting). As a matter of fact, strength training helps maintain muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage.
Exercise Myth 2. If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough. Sweating is not necessarily an indicator of exertion; it’s your body’s way of cooling itself. Sitting outside on a hot and sunny day (that would be nice right about now) can make you sweat. It’s also possible to burn calories without breaking a sweat. Just try walking.
Exercise Myth 3. Exercise Is the best way to lose weight. Exercise is one way to lose weight, but alone cannot guarantee your ideal weight. Long term and safe weight management is most effective when coupled with proper diet and nutrition.
Exercise Myth 4. There is one perfect workout routine. In my opinion, it’s all about moving more. Whether you go to the gym, dance, walk your dog, garden, or chase your spouse around the house, the best workout is whatever activities you enjoy and will do consistently.
Shorter days and cooler nights tell me that Autumn is here. It’s also reminder that we need to get outdoors as much as we can. Why? Well, there’s always yard work to do: raking leaves, harvesting veggies, and mulching trees. Second, outdoor activities are great exercise: the bending, lifting, lunging, hoisting, and jumping into piles of leaves. Third, the colors are beautiful! Lastly, it’s VERY important that we get sunshine. That’s how are bodies make vitamin D. And vitamin D helps our immune system stay strong. So be sure to get outside and enjoy this Fall.
— by Eric Foxman