As time goes by, there seems to be more and more health misconceptions about people’s levels of health and well-being. I would like to list a number of concepts that are considered as completely factual, but in truth, are just marginally accurate (just enough accuracy to lead you astray), if accurate at all. This type of misinformation is what is keeping America not only unhealthy and unfit, but also extremely diseased.
Do you adhere to any of the following health misconceptions?
1. “Jogging is the best exercise for losing weight”
This thought goes hand in hand with other health misconceptions that to become healthy and fit all we have to do is burn more calories than we consume. Jogging is very hard on the body’s joints and can create all sorts of over-training and repetitive stress syndrome issues (physical therapists and orthopedic specialists love runners and joggers). Fast-walking and short-duration running are far better approaches to improving your health and fitness levels.
2. “Sports are a great form of exercise”
Sports were created for fun and entertainment, not improving your health. If you take a good look at the majority of the sports, you will see a “high-risk” involved. Proper, or smart exercise, should have little to no risk involved and you should receive long term benefits, which normally are not attained with sporting/athletic activities.
3. “The best way to work the heart is to do something aerobic”
As someone who has been in involved in the health and fitness industry for over thirty years, I couldn’t pass on listing this with one of the many health misconceptions. The best way to improve the strength of your heart is through a well thought out resistance training program that has a balanced approach, including functional movements, body-weight and strength training exercises. The cardiovascular/respiratory system gets all sorts of beneficial work when we squat, lunge, lift, pull and press, plus proper resistance training movements transfer over into everyday life.
4. “I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky”
To me personally, this is by far the funniest of all of the health misconceptions. This may be the most humorous of all of the misconceptions, because most people don’t understand how difficult it is too put on muscle. The problem occurs when people add muscle and fat while they begin working out. If the nutrition is not dialed in properly, people have a tendency to gain weight which is made up of some muscle and even more fat. This leads to that “bulky” look that nobody seems to like. The truth is less than 2% of all women have any chance of ever looking overly muscular because of their estrogen to testosterone ratios. Plus, after the age of 30, the majority of men and women have to work very hard just to hold on to any muscle they have, let alone, to continue to put it on (hypertrophy).
5. “Increased dietary cholesterol intake leads to an increase in serum cholesterol levels”
Focusing on one variable to determine the level of your health is a very scary health misconception. The big pharmaceutical companies are making a “killing” on this type of misinformation.
You can look this one up yourselves, but you will find that there is no relationship between increased dietary cholesterol intake and increased serum cholesterol levels. I think you will find that the majority of cholesterol issues in America are caused by damaged metabolisms created by the increased intake of damaged fats (saturated and unsaturated) and refined carbohydrates/sugars that increase insulin responses. This misconception is quite unfortunate, as it causes a large portion of our society not to eat eggs. In my opinion the egg produced by the free-range (eats bugs/exercises/receives sunlight) organically fed chicken is one of the best foods available today.
6. “If I look fit, I am healthy”
Unfortunately, of all of the health misconceptions, this one is really taking our country by storm! The way we look, and our well-being, are not necessarily directly related. Sure, most of us are over-fat and under muscled. But, being obsessive and compulsive to attain that rail thin look (fit at all costs syndrome) is how many people create accelerated aging and degenerative disease. You should only work on becoming fit, only after you have developed a high level of health and well-being.
7. “Type II diabetes is hereditary”
The truth is we are just damaging our metabolisms at a faster rate than ever before, thus children now have Adult Onset Diabetes. This disease is a lifestyle disease and the only reason it “runs in the family” is because of the poor habits that are passed on from one generation to another. (Some people who don’t want take responsibility for their lives and doctors who love medicating disease over teaching real prevention of disease will disagree with me here, but the “proof is in the pudding”/please, Look it up)
8. “The best way to lose weight is to prioritize counting calories”
This health misconception is probably my biggest pet-peeve! If you have been been on this site in the past you realize that the supposed “Law of Thermodynamics” is a real pet peeve of mine. It seems every fitness professional with a two day personal training certification is going to tell you that your major focus in losing weight is to cut the calories and increase your exercise level. I beg to differ, as I believe that it is a real mistake to make something so complex so simple. So I believe that this approach will only lead to long term health problems.
9. “If I eat fat, I will get fat”
This health and fitness misconception may be destroying more unassuming people’s health than any other. We actually need fat intake to burn fat. Also, there are no essential carbohydrates, but there are plenty of essential fatty acids. Fats keep you satiated and have been severely and incorrectly demonized by western media and medical factions. These fats will kill you though: trans-fat, rancid and excessive omega-6 fatty acid intake (vegetable oils).
10. “The more abdominal exercises I do, the smaller and leaner my waist will become”
The fallacy of spot-reduction is one of the worst and most horrendous of all of the health misconceptions, but is more than alive and well in most health and fitness magazines today. Quit following such rubbish and force the marketers to focus on another way to swindle your money away. We all would be much better off focusing on improving their posture with core exercises than working on an abdominal routine.
11. “Taking a one-a-day synthetic vitamin and mineral supplement will take care of any inadequacies in my everyday diet”
A proper nutritional program is the most important thing you can do in improving the state of your health. Taking a synthetic supplement once a day is not. Health misconceptions that move people away from consuming high quality real foods may be the most maddening to me, as how could a cheap synthetic supplement full of all sorts of fillers and indigestible micro-nutrients make up for poor nutrition habits that take place 24/7/365? It can’t! And, it doesn’t!
Unfortunately the health and fitness industry is full of misinformation that has become known to many as fact, or major health misconceptions. If any of the above health misconceptions ring true to you, please make a real effort to change your mindset and behaviors today!
There you go… eleven health misconceptions that could be greatly effecting your health negatively.
If you have any questions or comments about these or any other health misconceptions, please leave them below.
If you have interest in self health care solutions, please let me know your area of interest and I will put together a post on it.