Forget All You’ve Heard About Fitness-Here Is What Is Important

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runningDid you know that for most people, when they do sit-ups they have hardly any effect? They are typically not done correctly and are more likely to cause injury than they are to strengthen the core.

Did you know that two people could do the exact same exercise for the same amount of time and get completely different results even if they weighed more or less the same and were more or less the same height? If you want to know why that happens, read below for the most important information you need to know for your own fitness goals.

 New York Times columnist and author of the new e-book, The First 20 Minutes Personal Trainer, Gretchen Reynolds gives us the final world on how to make your exercise count once and for all:

 People respond to exercise differently

Ever wondered how your weightlifting buddy has gotten stronger so quickly? “What’s becoming clear is different people with different genetic make-ups will respond differently to the exact same workout routines in terms of how fit they get, how much weight they lose, and how much they enjoy it,” says Reynolds. The only way to determine the best program for you is through trial and error, and even variations of cardio — like swimming, running, and cycling — can make a difference. “The human body is designed for movement, but there are lots of genetic variations in terms of what movement would be good for you,” Reynolds adds.

You CAN exercise too much

Those moms that somehow find time to hit the gym each and every day of the week aren’t any better off than the rest of us moderately active folk. “There’s a steep curve to the health benefits from exercise,” says Reynolds. “You get most of the them — lower disease risk, weight reduction, longer life — from exercising three or four times a week for half an hour.” Yes, there are advantages to moving more, but they decrease dramatically, and almost completely level off once you exercise for more than an hour on most days. In fact, doing so could potentially shorten your lifespan. So if you’re heading out for a three mile jog three times each week, you’re in excellent shape so far as reducing your risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and dementia. Now, onto those other items your to-do list.

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