Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/813543

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 51

38 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Myth #2 You need to exercise for at least 45 to 60 minutes for a productive workout Forget that New Year's resolution. It's cold and dark outside, and you don't have time to go to the gym for an hour before heading to work. But what if you need only 20 minutes at the gym? And to seal the deal, only exert yourself for half that time? Now, if your goal is to lose weight (or train for a marathon), exercising for as long as you can at a high intensity may be the right path for you. But many of us just want to get in better shape and make sure we are heart healthy. Recent research has shown that short, high-intensity workouts could achieve this goal as well or even better than longer ses- sions. Instead of exercising moderately for 60 minutes, you can push yourself harder for 20 minutes and achieve the same benefits. A 2012 Arizona State Univer- sity study indicated that frequent bursts of energy output may even be better for lowering blood pressure than one longer session. A variation of this is interval training. It looks like this: you push yourself as hard as you can for a short period, such as one or two minutes, and then rest for a few minutes before doing it again, for a few more rounds. "A short, high-intensity workout can be very effective," says Pete McCall, ad- junct faculty in exercise science at Mesa THINKSTOCKPHOTOS Community College in San Diego. "How- ever, it causes a high stress load on the body, so it should only be done twice a week. e other days, do other, less in- tense workouts." Be sure to start slowly and talk to your doctor before launching into a high-inten- sity exercise regimen. Myth #3 Stretching before exercise will prevent injury Do you keep your legs straight, touch your toes, and hold for 30 seconds before working out? It may not matter. For years, this sort of static stretching was de rigueur prior to exercise. Studies now dispute its value. For example, a 2011 study by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, found that static stretching neither prevents— nor causes—injury before exercising. e momentum has shifted to dynam- ic stretching, which mimics, gently, the movements you will make in your activ- ity. For example, a basketball player may swing her arms and do walking lunges and high knee jogs. Static stretching does have its place— after your workout. Dynamic stretching activates the muscles you will use in a workout and increases your range of mo- tion. During a workout you contract your muscles, so elongating them by stretch- ing afterward resets them in their natural position. DW Life > "Static stretching after a workout relax- es the muscles," says McCall, who is also a personal trainer and teaches for both the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. "So it will help your nervous system calm down and turn those contracting muscles off." Myth #4 You don't need to exercise because diet is the best way to lose weight A number of recent studies have shown that the most effective way to lose weight is by dieting. After all, for most of us, it is easier to cut 300 calories out of a daily 2,500 calorie diet than to burn off 300 calories at the gym—the equivalent of 30 minutes of intense effort on a treadmill. at said, combining diet and exercise will help you shed those pounds more quickly. Plus, to rely solely on diet to lose weight can tempt some people to reduce their exercise regimen—even though exer- cise has many benefits beyond weight loss. Aerobic exercise decreases your risk for heart attack or stroke by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It keeps your muscles toned. It maintains bone strength. It relieves stress and can help combat anxiety and depression. For overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recom- mends at least 30 minutes of moderate- intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week, totaling a minimum of 150 min- utes; or at least 25 minutes of vigorous

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Diversity Woman Magazine - SUM 2017