10 Big Fat Exercise Myths Causing You to Stall

Getting Americans off the couch and onto their feet could save an estimated 200,000 lives a year. Yet most of us are either sedentary or only minimally active.

Exercise myths may keep many couch potatoes from getting into shape.

People still ask questions like: How often should I exercise? (The more, the better, but at least 30 minutes nearly every day.) Does it have to be 30 minutes straight? (No, shorter bouts are fine.)

Which Exercise is Best for Weight Loss?

Any kind—and any amount—of exercise is better than no exercise. Some studies sug- gest that as long as you burn 1,000 calories a week, you’ll lower your risk of disease. But if you want to know which exercise is best for weight loss, this chart—based on exercise specialist David Nieman’s book

But if you want to know which exercise is best for weight loss, this information here —based on exercise specialist David Nieman’s book Exercise Testing and Prescription—shows how many calories a 150-pound person burns by doing any of 30 common physical activities for an hour. (If you weigh more, you’ll burn more calories; if you weigh less, you’ll burn fewer calories.)

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We’ve also included information about how well each activity builds cardiovascular health, burns fat, or builds muscle strength (1 = not at all, 2 = a little, 3 = moderately, 4 = strongly, and 5 = very strongly). For muscle strength, the activity is rated high if both upper and lower body muscles are strengthened.

Walking vs. Running to Lose Weight

“Want to lose weight? Then run, don’t walk,” reported U.S. News & World Report in the April 2013 issue.

When it comes to running vs. walking, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California conducted a six year National Walkers’ and Runners’ Health Study. When they compared men and women who increased their walking or running, they found that running expended more energy than walking.

But people who choose to run may be different—they may be more physically fit, for example—than people who choose to walk.

Should You Drink Chocolate Milk After a Workout?

“Beverage of champions: Chocolate milk gets an Olympic-style makeover,” reported the Washington Post in January after ads featuring U.S. Olympic athletes began popping up during the Sochi winter games. Olympic athletes have access to the best in exercise regimens and health and nutrition advice. If they drink chocolate milk post workout, should you?

When it comes to recovering from intense exercise, this classic childhood beverage has taken the spotlight.

In some studies, drinking chocolate milk immediately after a strenuous workout is one of the best ways to recover quickly—better than sugary sports drinks like Gatorade. The milk’s naturally occurring sugar (lactose) is half glucose, its protein speeds up glycogen synthesis in the body, and its electrolytes (like potassium and, to a lesser extent, sodium) help you rehydrate.