Jane Fonda made the motto “No Pain No Gain” famous in the 1980’s with her exercise videos that became widely used in marketing fitness campaigns. Even though Jane Fonda received the credit, the term “No Pain No Gain” was coined by Benjamin Franklin when he wrote “There are no gains without pain.”
Over three hundred years ago he might be considered the first fitness guru. He felt that exercise was the reason for continued health and should be done forty minutes a day.
Pain is not an indication in exercise that you are pushing to the max and achieving your goals. Mild discomfort is acceptable but when pain occurs your body is telling you to stop before an injury occurs.
As exercise science has progressed many of the ways we approached fitness are now different. Still, some of the beliefs are now myths, here are a few.
Can you target specific areas for fat reduction? The answer is no. If you do countless sit ups for your abs you will gain muscle in that area, but the fat area remains. Our genetics play a role in how we store fat, and we lose it in the reverse order that it was accumulated. Weight loss and muscle gain result from diet and exercise. You cannot out exercise an improper diet.
If women lift weights, they will get bulky. Very few women can gain the same bulk as men do because they are smaller and have lower levels of testosterone.
Weight and resistance training are good for women and have proven effective for many health gains including bone density, strength and risk of injury. In other words, you will not bulk up if you pick up!
Muscle weighs more than fat. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same. A pound of lean muscle however takes up less space in your body than a pound of fat because of density. The way your clothes fit tells you a lot about your weight loss. It is a nice feeling that your clothes are fitting differently!
The scale can be encouraging and discouraging with weight loss. Try to resist that continual checking of the scales. Weight can fluctuate because of many factors and the scale is not a true picture of your health. Weight loss of one to two pounds per week is a sustainable goal and healthier than rapid weight loss.
I am too old to exercise. Exercising has many health benefits at any age. People may think they are to out of shape, too old to start or cannot start because of an injury.
There are people in their seventies, eighties and nineties that run marathons and are body builders. That may seem a lofty goal to a beginner but is not one that could be out of reach. Observing a group fitness class in an exercise facility or on the gym floor with older participants can quickly debunk that myth because many are rock stars pumping out that fitness level that could rival a younger participant!
Who would have thought the science of exercise would have evolved to the level it is today and we have the pioneers in industry to thank including Benjamin Franklin and Jane Fonda.
The industry is evolving with new studies and techniques, but exercise is only one component in fitness.
A healthy lifestyle is followed by diet, sustainability and a balance in life for emotional and spiritual health.