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Sound Mind and Body

Robin Street teaches journalism and public relations at the University of Mississippi. She is also a freelance journalist specializing in preventive health, fitness, nutrition and mental health. She has a Master’s Degree in both journalism and wellness from Ole Miss.
True or False Quiz: The Truth About Common Exercise and Health Beliefs
 It seems as if health information changes every time you turn around. Sometimes, it’s just plain impossible to keep track of the facts you’re supposed to know about your health and fitness.
See how well you understand the truth behind these common exercise and health facts. Are they true or false?
1. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. True or False?

False, mostly. For years, experts stressed the importance of drinking that much water. But the National Institute of Medicine reviewed all the scientific studies on hydration and found that most Americans are getting plenty of fluid in their diets.
Men need about 15 one-half cups of fluids daily. Women need about 11 one-half cups. Those amounts can come from the water in food and all beverages, including caffeinated ones.
Temperatures in excess of 80 degrees can increase the need for fluids, as can high altitudes. So can exercising. When exercising, drink at least one cup of water per hour, but no more than three.
2. Exercise makes you want to eat more. True or False?
False. Studies have found that people are not hungrier after exercise. Exercise seems to help you regulate your appetite more. It may be because it relieves the stress or anxiety that might have made you eat more.
3. Stretching before exercise prevents injury. True or False?
False.  Despite the advice you’ve heard for years, two reviews of studies concluded that stretching before exercising probably did not reduce the risk of injury for most people.
However, warming up does help. Before you work out, spend at least five minutes slowly warming up for the exercise you’ll be doing.
4. Women should avoid weight training because it will make them bulk up. True or False?   
False. Weight training offers multiple benefits to women. It improves your strength, bone density and balance. The muscles you build also help you burn extra calories during the day.
Women simply do not have enough testosterone to develop bulky muscles without an overwhelming training routine. Research has found that women who lift weights often drop one or two dress sizes.
5. Exercising for three 10-minute segments is as effective as one 30-minute workout. True or False?
True. If you cannot fit a 30-minute walk or run into your day, three 10-minute segments will provide about the same benefits to your body – both physical and emotional.
6. Exercise helps you sleep better. True or False?
True. People who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply than non-exercisers. However, you might want to avoid exercising just before bedtime.
7. The right exercise can spot-reduce your “trouble” spots. True or False?
False. You cannot force your body to burn fat from a certain area, such as your thighs or stomach. Weight training can develop the muscles in a certain area, but it will not specifically reduce the fat in that area. So, doing dozens of leg lifts may make your legs more muscular, but it will not burn the fat there specifically.
 Email Robin Street at rbstreet@olemiss.edu

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