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Cindy Boggs Cindy Boggs
Cindy Boggs is an American Council on Exercise-certified fitness professional, healthy lifestyle expert and author of the award winning book, CindySays … “You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World.” Send inquiries/comments to

We all want to improve our health, but because we are so busy with life, it’s sometimes difficult to step back and make the right adjustments to our lifestyle.

If you are serious about redesigning the way you train, remember to base your lifestyle changes around fact, not fiction. Fitness fallacy is tenacious and has a way of sticking around; fitness facts cannot be overemphasized.

Keep these fitness facts in mind as you begin your quest for health:

  • Fitness Fallacy — Exercise must be strenuous.
Fitness Fact — All intensities of exercise are beneficial. Generally, your intensity should be based on your current fitness level and progress from there. Exercise that is too strenuous is the main reason people quit.

  • Fitness Fallacy — Exercise must be one continuous effort.
Fitness Fact — Exercise can be cumulative. You should aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week; however, this can be accomplished each day with 15 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes in the afternoon and 25 minutes at night. Appreciate the fact that performing frequent bouts of activity, even minimal efforts, add up and make the difference.

  • Fitness Fallacy — You must belong to a health club to be fit.
Fitness Fact — Research has shown that matching your personality to the type of exercise you choose is the determining factor for whether you stick with an activity. While health clubs offer a wide array of activities to move your body, they are not for everyone. Some prefer outdoor activities such as hiking, jogging, cycling; some people enjoy a more competitive arena and pursue sports; some choose a social path to fitness, such as dancing or walking with friends; many strength train at home and others prefer a quieter, more personal home workout such as yoga, Pilates or Tai chi. The best environment is the one that keeps you coming back for more.

  • Fitness Fallacy — You must feel the burn in order to improve your fitness level.
Fitness Fact — While some muscles soreness is inevitable when starting a new or more intense form of exercise, physical activity in general should never be a source of pain. If you experience pain — stop! Overtraining will not result in the kind of body you desire.

  • Fitness Fallacy — Aerobic exercise is all I need to make me fit and healthy.
Fitness Fact — A healthy body is a result of a well-balanced physical training regimen. It includes aerobic work for the heart and lungs, strength training for muscles and joints, flexibility work for maintaining range of motion and joint health and relaxation and breathing exercise for stress management. Runners need to hit the weights and weight lifters need to condition their hearts and lungs.

  • Fitness Fallacy — Women who strength train with heavy weights will build bulky muscles.
Fitness Fact — As women don’t have the testosterone levels that men possess, bulky muscles cannot be connected to the amount of weight a woman lifts. If she has bulky muscles, she needs to examine and improve her diet.

  • Fitness Fallacy — My child is not overweight; as he grows he will lose that excess fat.
Fitness fact — If your child is active and eating a healthy diet, you have little reason to be alarmed; however, if she is not active and consistently eating more calories than she is expending, you should see a pediatrician for advice. Your son or daughter will not lose excess fat as he or she grows if diet and lifestyle remain the same.

  • Fitness Fallacy — To get a flat stomach and six-pack abs, I need to concentrate on doing lots of targeted abdominal exercises.
Fitness Fact — Flat stomachs and six-pack abs are built in the kitchen, not in the gym. It is impossible to reduce a specific area of the body by targeting that area with exercise. If you are doing an abdominal exercise, such as crunches, you will strengthen those muscles; but, excess body fat must be shed before you will flatten the stomach and see the six-pack.

  • Fitness Fallacy — To lose weight, I must do cardio.
Fitness Fact — The quickest way reduce body weight/fat is to combine resistance training to your workouts. Steady state aerobics may help you shed a few pounds and fit into smaller jeans, but without muscle strengthening exercise, it won’t be pretty. While you are losing pounds, you need to build muscle which will help manage your weight by burning calories at rest.

  • Fitness Fallacy — To burn more calories, set the cardio machine on fat burning mode.
Fitness Fact — This is absolutely not true. The higher the intensity, the more calories you will burn. Intervals are the most efficient way to burn calories and you’ll have time leftover to hit the weights.

Your fitness strategy should be created around clear goals, a factual plan and a steady commitment that will help you succeed.

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