Dr. Cooper debunks common exercise myths

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 9:54 AM

It's important to exercise regularly, but sometimes we can overdo it. Dr. Emily Cooper of Seattle Performance Medicine joined KING 5 to talk about the myths we often hear about exercise and fitness.

Myth 1: "I'm having a really bad day, I'm tired, but I need to de-stress. Exercise is a good idea."

If you are too tired, too stressed out or not fueled well, you could injure yourself while exercising, Dr. Cooper says. The body sees exercise as a stressor and it will break down without enough rest and nourishment. Go home and rest instead.

Myth 2: "It's better to sacrifice sleep in the morning to get a workout."

Regularly sleeping seven to eight hours a night is actually more important for overall health and fitness, Dr. Cooper says.

Myth 3: "You should push yourself hard when you run or work out."

It's not good to constantly push yourself into exhaustion and physical pain. Fitness benefits come from training smarter, not necessarily more or harder, says Dr. Cooper. Like so many things in life, quality matters over quantity. Varying your workouts' intensities is a smart way to create a program; it's not productive to do the same thing every day.

Depending on a person's goals, a workout program should include movement that promotes:

  • Endurance
  • Speed
  • Strength and power
  • Core strength
  • Flexibility

Myth 4: "Overtraining syndrome isn't real."

Dr. Cooper says it actually is a real problem -- and it doesn't just happen to professional athletes. It often occurs when you hit a wall with your exercise; you don't improve anymore and you feel tired, your mood is irritable and you can't sleep well.

The signs of overtraining are:

  • Poor sleep
  • Irritable mood
  • Fatigue
  • Reduction in fitness in spite of training
  • Poor recovery after workouts

Myth 5: "The calorie information on cardio machines are accurate."

Calorie information on exercise equipment at the gym is just an estimate and not necessarily accurate for everyone, Dr. Cooper says.
 

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