Research shows that even 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health. (Pixabay photo)

Research shows that even 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health. (Pixabay photo)

RON CAIN: Popular myths about exercise

Research shows 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health

Ron Cain | Contributed

Exercise is confusing.

What type of exercise is best, how often, do I need to take supplements, should I see my doctor first, and so many more questions. The use of the internet for information can be even more confounding with the range of opinions, many of which are not backed up by sound research or years of experience in the industry.

Here are some common issues I have dealt with in my 40 years in the fitness industry.

1. – To lose weight you only need to reduce calories

If this were true, far more people would be successful. Cutting calories ultimately impacts your metabolism and contributes to the loss of muscle tissue. Exercise with caloric restriction builds muscle and helps your health in general – both physically and mentally.

RELATED: Building muscle is more important than cardio for older adults

2. Not enough time

Research shows that even 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health. The average person watches about two hours of TV a day.

3. The best way to lose weight is with cardio exercise

Cardio is vital to your heart health, but building muscle is more effective for weight loss. Muscle is dense and burns more calories, even at rest, so packing on lean tissue is the key to boosting your metabolism, like turning up your furnace.

4. If I lift weight, I will get ugly muscles

First, muscle is never ugly and what muscle gives you is tone. To tone up, you must build muscle and shed fat by burning calories by building muscle.

5. I need to check my pulse when I exercise and get it into the recommended target heart rate

Yes and no. Heart rate training is a feedback tool to help you push yourself harder to strengthen the heart muscle or know when to slow down. Heart formulas, however, are subject to error, especially in fit older adults and inappropriate for persons on medications that affect the heart. As a trainer, I prefer to teach the client the 1-10 perceived exertion scale. Even moderate exercise has a profound positive effect, so don’t think you need to reach a specific heart rate and soak your shirt in sweat to get a significant benefit.

6. I only need to exercise three times a week

The good news is if you do exercise three times a week, you are more active than most people. The approach I advocate for is being active every day. This does not mean you need to bust your butt every day. Workout hard one day and do a walk, swim, bike, yoga – really anything at all – on your recovery days between your primary training every two days.

7. I need to eat more protein if I exercise

Another yes and no answer. Exercise does increase protein requirements. However, the average person already has more protein in their diet than they need. Young bodybuilders are a different story.

RELATED: To carb or not to carb

8. Swimming is the best exercise for older people

Non-weight bearing exercise such as swimming has two shortcomings. The absence of gravity means it is an ineffective method for increasing bone density and less effective weight loss than weight-bearing exercise. For some people, swimming is the best option when there are joint issues or other medical concerns.

9. If I use a treadmill for 30 minutes and it says I only burned 200 calories, exercise is not worth it

There are many other benefits beyond calorie burning – improved moods, better balance, energy levels etc. Calorie expenditure during exercise is less important than the impact exercise has on elevating your metabolism after the exercise has stopped and the emotional benefits of feeling good.

10. We are more active now than 40 years ago when they started Particpaction ads.

The fact is society has never been so fat, and medical issues such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome are growing as fast as our waistlines. It’s never too late to start, and even if it’s just a walk around the block, the benefits can be enormous.


Ron Cain is a personal trainer with Sooke Mobile Personal Training. Email

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This stretch of Highway 14 on Parkinson Hill near Port Renfrew is undergoing reconstruction following a road washout in 2018. (Ministry of Transportation photo)
22-hour Highway 14 road closure planned for Wednesday

Closure needed to install a temporary bridge structure near Port Renfrew

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
Extinction Rebellion activists march from Vancouver to Victoria this weekend

The four-day trek ends at the B.C. legislature Monday, protest province’s environmental policy

At Tuesday’s Sooke council meeting, RCMP submitted a record showing the types of calls and incidents that were investigated within the district, which included a comparison from February 2021 to February 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Crime and calls to Sooke RCMP on the decline in February compared to 2020

Sooke RCMP share February investigation statistics

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read