Millions of people are being led astray by incorrect information, beliefs, opinions, and practices recommended by health care professionals, fitness instructors, and coaches who do not fully understand exercise and its requirements.
Many governmental agencies and fitness industry institutions promote the supposed health benefits of general physical activities over planned structured exercise. In an effort to gain compliance, these organizations have lowered the requirements of exercise to such a level that virtually every activity that involves mere movement of the body qualifies.
Such misinformation has caused many people to miss the real benefits that a proper exercise program can deliver or, even worse, to end up injured in the pursuit of health. Others become frustrated by lack of results or confused by conflicting information and choose to do nothing at all.
Suddenly there are all these experts saying things like, just park the car a bit further away from wherever you are going, or just do some gardening or housework. The most misleading of all is the notion that walking alone is enough to strengthen and condition the body and that is all that is necessary. Well listen up, we all have legs and we all walk, legs are the things that move our body and walking is what you do when you need to go to the shops or somewhere. How did it suddenly become an exercise program?
The truth of the matter is that if you want to lose weight, get fit, increase your strength or change your risk for heart disease you are going to need to work your body much harder than simply going for a leisurely stroll.
If it were that easy why is the world now facing an epidemic of overweight and obese people, sky rocketing levels of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other life threatening illnesses and conditions labeled lifestyle diseases? One of the greatest global health threats of the modern age is our sedentary and inactive lifestyles.
People who have health disorders which can be treated with physical activity should not be mislead into believing the “walking is all it takes for a good health” myth. This myth has given many a false sense that a stroll through the neighborhood is all you need to stay strong, fit and healthy. Instead of pushing people to become more active, it has merely provided an excuse to do as little as possible.
The other misleading type of information is to just “do something you enjoy”. What has fun got to do with an exercise program? Getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning to exercise before work is not any fun at all. Sometimes it is dark, cold and wet and it takes commitment and discipline to roll out of bed when it would be so much easier and nicer to stay in bed. Absolutely no fun there!
Well, here’s the truth that no one else in the health and fitness business wants to tell you: change is tough and getting fit takes hard work. In the fitness arena, that might mean better health, higher levels of cardiovascular fitness, increased strength, decreased body fat or decreased risk of disease or illness.