Exercise myths

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

We take a look at three common exercise myths to sort the fact from the fiction


  1. Strength training will make me bulk up

Many people believe that starting strength training will lead to ‘looking big’ or ‘bulky’ due to muscles significantly increasing in size. But this isn’t quite the case and definitely should not be a reason to put you off getting involved in strength training.

So if it doesn’t make you look like an Olympic weightlifter (and there is nothing wrong with these physiques either), what does it do then?

It makes you stronger!

Your muscles, movement patterns and bones can all increase in strength from lifting, pushing and pulling weight. Most importantly, with the help of a health professional such as an accredited exercise physiologist you can get an individualised plan to achieve the personal goals you want. You might be hoping to improve your functional strength for everyday activities, such as walking up stairs, carrying children or grandchildren around, or focused on alleviating pain by strengthening your muscles around particular joints. Whatever you want to achieve from introducing strength training, you can gain continual positive outcomes.


  1. No pain, no gain

This isn’t quite the case.

It is common to experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) up to 48 hours after an exercise session that involves strengthening exercises, particularly if you are new to this type of exercise. This can also be the case if you have increased the amount of weight you are moving. You may also experience what feels like pain during some exercises but this can sometimes be your muscles working beyond a point they are used to.

This doesn’t mean that in order to gain the benefits it must be an uncomfortable experience. For this reason it’s important to discuss with the health professional assisting you, any of these concerns you have around pain or particular exercise’s. That way it can be taken into consideration when designing your tailored exercise program.

The great thing about muscles is that they get stronger and they adapt to increase in workloads. No matter the type, intensity, the duration or the frequency, exercise will have a positive impact on your health in the short and long term and does not have to be an unenjoyable experience.


  1. Morning, is the best time of the day to exercise

The best time, is the best time for YOU.

There are two factors to look at when deciding what time of the day you will exercise:

  1. The time of the day that suits you

Maybe you aren’t a morning person, or maybe you’re just too busy in the morning. Perhaps you are someone who has more energy after lunch or in the evening.  So, the first thing you should ask yourself is, what time of day is going to best suit me to schedule in some exercise? When are you going to be most likely to enjoy it; and to do so with the most energy and enthusiasm! That will be the best time of day to exercise.

  1. In regards to managing blood glucose levels, research shows us that exercising after meals is most beneficial for reducing postprandial (after meal) BGL spikes

However, exercising prior to meals can also have positive effects should this suit you more. Postprandial exercise can be a beneficial time to exercise to assist the body in removing glucose from your bloodstream. As we exercise our muscles contract and with contraction occurs glucose uptake from the bloodstream. This allows the glucose to move into the muscle cells where it can be stored and used later. This doesn’t mean it has to be straight after you have finished a meal, but in 1-2 hours of finishing your meal can be an ideal time to get those muscles working.

For more myth busting and FAQs around exercise register for The physical activity myth buster webinar that will be presented by one of our accredited exercise physiologists on the 27th August 12-1pm. For any other questions you have regarding exercise and your diabetes management call our Helpline on 1800 637 700 and asked to speak to one of our accredited exercise physiologists.



By Bianca Penning, AEP



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