How much do you really know about exercise? You might be surprised – I’ve put together some interesting facts for you:

  1. Your gym classes or membership won’t make up for the hours you spend sitting. Sitting is the new smoking. According to many studies sitting for long periods of time puts you at a higher risk of dangerous illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure even if you are otherwise physically active. While you might spend 1 hour at a class or pumping weights think about what you’re doing for the other 23 hours in your day and make a conscious effort to move around more often throughout your day. Think exercise snacking.
  2. Exercise won’t make you thin. You can do as much exercise as you like but if you’re not in a calorie deficit you won’t loose weight. So exercise has lots of other fantastic benefits but may not lead to weight loss by itself.
  3. Getting active will also help you achieve other goals. Studies show that developing regular exercise habits helps people improve their goal setting, organization (not sure that’s true in my case…) and discipline. A recent study showed that smokers were twice as likely to quit and stay cigarette free than those who didn’t exercise.
  4. Women respond differently to exercise than men. Women are not small men. Too many studies use men as subjects because women menstrual cycles are too complex to include in data- what nonsense! But what this does mean is if you’re wondering why the men in your life respond super quickly to weights, strength work and other exercise is because their bodies work differently to women. Read the book Roar by Stacy Sims for more interesting info on this. I have a copy.
  5. 60% of gym memberships go unused. Rather than waste your money on a gym membership walk more, sign up for individual classes, pay as you go classes or get a PT. Most large gyms only manage to stay open because of unused gym memberships- it drives me bonkers!
  6. Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat. Which weighs more? A kilo of lead or a kilo of feathers? They both weigh the same of course but take up different volume and this is the same for muscle and fat. Fat takes up more space. So boost your metabolism as muscle requires more calories than fat and gives you more shape.
  7. Your feet hurt when you run because you put 3-4 times your weight in pressure on your feet. Walk instead.
  8. Dehydration reduces your exercise performance. Check out my previous blog on Are you drinking enough water? We have a change in season and most of us won’t be drinking what our body requires. Get stuck into some herbal teas – aim for one an hour and increase your fluid levels.
  9. Don’t work out on an empty stomach. If you run out of energy during a workout your body will use muscle to fuel itself, not your stored body fat.
  10. Wonder why I use eccentric pauses or isometric holds?? This is the part of the exercise where your muscles lengthen instead of shorten so the tears to your muscle, the positive damage is greater and so you get bigger and stronger. You just might be a bit sorer the next day…
  11. Use different exercise modalities. People who train across a number of different types of exercise are less likely to get injured. So building some HIIT, strength, mobility and Pilates type exercise rather than just running will keep you injury free and fitter for longer.
  12. Frequent running long distances may actually encourage your body to hold on to weight. The more you train at long distances the more your body becomes efficient at doing this so you end up burning less energy and your body fuels itself with muscle rather than stored fat.

Most important thing? Get moving and eat less! Get a good pump on during your workout, get to know your body and rest.