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5 Quick Fitness Facts

-Women are weaker than they have ever been!

Ladies, while your workouts may keep you fit and slim, research suggests that women are failing in one key aspect when it comes to exercise - improving strength.

In fact, studies suggest that women are weaker than they have ever been, partly because many focus purely on weight loss rather than strength. Concerns that muscles aren’t feminine are also a key factor in ladies’ dwindling strength. However, while you may not care about visibly gaining muscles, poor muscle strength has many implications for our health, including increased risk of osteoporosis and back and joint pain.

-Your gym membership won’t counteract the hours spent sitting

Think your fitness class or gym session makes up for the fact you sit at a desk all day? Think again. According to a number of research studies, sitting for long periods of time puts you at risk of dangerous illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, even if you are otherwise physically active. While you may spend an hour at the gym or playing sports each day, think about what you are doing for the other 23 hours. It is important to make an effort to move more often throughout the day in any way you can; even the smallest activities done regularly can make a difference to your health.

-Exercise won’t make you thin

Many people use exercise as their sole method of weight management, however studies have shown that exercise, when not combined with dietary changes, does very little in respect to losing weight. A study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine found that when a group of obese people completed 12 weeks of supervised cardio workouts without dieting, most did not experience any significant weight loss results. However, it is important to remember that, while it may not lead to weight loss by itself, exercise still has plenty of other health benefits.

-Stretching before running may lower your endurance

Many of us have been taught to warm up before exercise, however recent studies suggest that stretching before a run may not be beneficial to your workout. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that stretching before going for a run made a runner’s body less efficient so that they did not perform as well and were unable to run as far. Instead of stretching, try warming up with a walk and running-specific moves to mobilise your joints before your run. You should then make sure to include stretches as part of your post-run routine.

-Facebook can boost your fitness motivation

You may not have thought that browsing Facebook could help with your exercise goals, yet research suggests that signing up to the site could seriously boost your fitness motivation. Firstly, the constant lurking danger of being tagged in an unflattering photo means that social media sites have become a huge weight loss trigger for many of us. In fact, a study by Fitbit identified unflattering Facebook photos as the new number one weight loss trigger for Brits. Furthermore, more research from Fitbit has revealed that 64 per cent of those surveyed felt motivated to workout as a result of fitness boasts made by their friends on Facebook.

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