Balance, Behavioral Medicine, Cognitive Reframing, Cognitive Restructuring, Education, Exercise, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Human Performance, Mind-Body, Mind/Body Disconnect, Physical Fitness, Self-care, Stress Management

The Facts About Exercise: Don’t Make These “Myth”-stakes – Part 3 of 3

In part three of this three-part series we will look at several more pieces of misinformation regarding exercise. Many people are willing to share “wisdom” from their personal experiences, and while this may seem helpful to the less experienced, it is wise to check the facts for yourself. Please take time to go back and explore Parts One and Two of this series for more exercise-related myths. And always remember: when starting an exercise program, it is wise to check with your personal health care professional.

MYTH 11: I don’t necessarily want to lose weight; I simply want to redistribute the weight I currently have.
FACT: There is no magic formula that turns fat into muscle or muscle into fat. Fat cannot be turned into muscle tissue. Generally speaking, the number of fat cells cannot be altered; however, the size of those cells can be.

MYTH 12: No pain, no gain.
FACT: For the highly trained and highly motivated athlete, this slogan may be true. But unless you are training for the Olympics, it is a very misleading expression. Pain is the body’s way of saying, “Pay Attention! Stop!” If you experience pain, slow down and stop. Exercise and fitness may involve some stress and slight discomfort but, clearly, it should not cause pain. True pain is an indication of an injury. The treatment for injury is rest, not more pain. Listen to your body.

Exercise Myths

MYTH 12: No pain, no gain.
FACT: For the highly trained and highly motivated athlete, this slogan may be true. But unless you are training for the Olympics, it is a very misleading expression. Pain is the body’s way of saying, “Pay Attention! Stop!” If you experience pain, slow down and stop.

MYTH 13: Weight reduction aids and gadgets are invaluable in the fight to lose weight.
FACT: These gadgets are not effective in the fight against fat and may be, in fact, seriously dangerous. Motorized exercycles, vibrating belts, sauna wraps, inflated shorts and belts, electric stimulators, and plastic sweat suits do not contain “secret” or “miraculous cures” for overweight people. Remember, you cannot magically remove fat from the body. To lose weight you must expend more caloric energy than is taken in.

MYTH 14: Cellulite is a special kind of fat requiring a special approach.
FACT: Cellulite is not a special kind of hard-to-remove fat and you do not need costly gadgets and elaborate exercise equipment to get rid of it. Fat is fat regardless of its appearance.

MYTH 15: You shouldn’t drink water before or during practice and competition. Abstinence will help an individual become accustomed to dehydration.
FACT: Withholding water during rigorous activity is dangerous and can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Sweating is a vital part of your body’s ability to cool and is dependent upon the amount of water in your system. Drink water before, during, and after rigorous activity.

Protect yourself from these dangerous “myth”-stakes. Ask questions and check the facts from a qualified and reliable source. And, as always . . .

Remember to be good to you!

Copyright © 2013 by Gary L. Flegal, Ph.D.

Dr. Gary Flegal is a Behavioral Medicine and Health Specialist with a doctorate in “Health Education and Human Performance” from Michigan State University. He is an exciting and accomplished presenter and keynote speaker, presenting seminars for groups and companies on location and at conventions. His advanced training in stress management came to him while working in affiliation with the original Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard under the direction of Herbert Benson, M.D. and his staff. In addition to corporate presentations, Dr. Flegal keeps a busy schedule working with individual clients for a variety of stress-related issues, including anger management, quitting smoking, learning to relax and manage stress, and learning self-hypnosis.

Dr. Flegal’s other passion is magic. He has been a professional magician for over 30 years and continues practicing his art at every opportunity. These two passions work together beautifully as he illustrates stress management concepts with fun, visual, and “magical” demonstrations in his stress management workshops and seminars. It also allows him to share stress management with his magic audiences wherever he goes because “Laughter is the Best Medicine!” Gary is a Reiki Master and a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists.

Dr. Flegal’s specialties include stress management, anger management, positive behavior change, insomnia, smoking cessation, and exercise physiology. For individual appointments, speaking engagements, or more information, contact Gary at Professional Stress Management Services in Nashville, Tennessee, at (615)812-7280 or through his Web site:

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Posts by Dr. Gary Flegal

April 2013


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Stress can cause severe health problems if not managed properly. In extreme cases stress can lead to physical symptoms which can even cause death. While stress management techniques have been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress, the information on this website is for guidance only. Readers should seek the advice of suitably qualified health professionals if they have any concerns over stress-related illnesses or if stress is causing significant or persistent unhappiness. Health professionals should also be consulted before any major change in diet or levels of exercise.
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