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What are some of the exercise myths that might be holding you back?

If there’s one thing that living for more than a year in a global pandemic may have caused you to feel, it’s guilt – that you haven’t kept on top of your fitness as much as you feel you should have done, even during times of lockdown and other disruption. 

So, you might be eager to get back into an exercise routine, and to that end, you may well have been choosing from our extensive selection of active fitness wear and accessories here at Hybryd. 

Not all of the things many of us think about exercise in the 2020s, however, is necessarily borne out by reality. So, with help from the experts, let’s look at just some of the persistent fitness myths that may be causing you to have less-than-helpful attitudes towards your own exercise regime. 

Exercise for exercise’s sake is ‘normal’ and instinctive behaviour 

If you’ve felt more than a little guilty about your fitness habits – or lack of them – over the past year, it’s worth bearing in mind that the concept of “exercise” as something we do with the specific intention of attaining and preserving physical fitness is actually a fairly modern development. 

As Harvard professor of evolutionary biology, Daniel E Lieberman, recently outlined for The Observer, “for millions of years, humans were physically active for only two reasons: when it was necessary or rewarding… no one in the stone age ever went for a five-mile jog to stave off decrepitude, or lifted weights whose sole purpose was to be lifted.” 

Unused muscle tissue turns into fat 

This is a bit of a comical one really, but it’s worth underlining nonetheless. In the words of Sean Kuechenmeister, a clinical athletic trainer at the New York Sports Science Lab in Staten Island, New York: “It’s really important to say that muscle tissue has muscle cells and fat tissue has fat cells.

“By no means is it chemically or physically possible for muscle tissue to convert over to fat and vice versa, fat into muscle.” 

Static stretching before exercise helps prevent injury 

A lot of us were taught in school PE classes about the importance of performing static stretches, such as reaching for one’s toes and then holding that stretch, for minimising the likelihood of injury during exercise. 

However, as pointed out by health journalist Robert J. Davis in an article for TIME, past research has often struggled to back up this idea. Davis even suggested that engaging in static stretches before exercise may cause harm by adversely affecting performance. 

As he put it: “A better approach is to warm up and then do dynamic stretches, such as arm or leg swings, which involve movement. Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching primes muscles for action and may improve performance.” 

If you don’t ‘just do it’, you’re lazy 

How often have you heard some variation before of “oh, stop moaning and just get on with that fitness routine already”? It’s something that might have come out of a lot of people’s mouths during this pandemic when you mentioned to them your exercise struggles – but that doesn’t mean they’re right. 

For this one, we look back to Lieberman, who cautions that “for most of us, telling us to ‘just do it’ doesn’t work any better than telling a smoker or substance abuser to ‘just say no!’” 

Lieberman goes on to suggest that those wishing to get their workout momentum going should find ways to make exercise “necessary and rewarding”, as it was for past generations of humans. “Of the many ways to accomplish this, I think the best is to make exercise social. If you agree to meet friends to exercise regularly, you’ll be obliged to show up, you’ll have fun and you’ll keep each other going.” 

Are you ready to make your own next exercise routine the one that you stick with for good? If so, you can have faith in the Hybryd online store providing you with all of the necessary active fitness wear for less. Browse online now to discover the latest additions to our range, not forgetting that all postage of our goods to UK addresses is free. 

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