Myth #1: Stretching before exercise reduces the risk of injury. - False. The scientific literature of the past decade fails to support stretching before exercise as a successful strategy for injury prevention. However, research does support stretching at other times, including post-exercise, to reduce injury risk.
Myth #2: Static stretching improves exercise performance. - Not true. Pre-exercise static stretching has actually been shown to negatively affect both explosive activities (jumping or sprinting) and maximal strength production. Less is known about the effects of static stretching on endurance performance or balance. Since there is no consensus on this front, caution is recommended. Using a general warm-up that includes dynamic activitiesmay be best.
Myth #3: Walking a mile burns as many calories as running a mile. - In our dreams. While walking is a great physical activity, it does not require as much energy as running. Research has shown that running has a 40 percent greater energy cost compared to walking . That means you burn more calories when you run.
Myth #4: Lactic acid causes acidosis and muscle fatigue during exercise. -False. This century-old myth, linking lactate or lactic acid to fatigue, is the result of a scientific misinterpretation that has prevailed through the years. Lactate does not cause metabolic acidosis. Furthermore, it is useful in the performance of exercise at high intensities.
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