No pain, no gain?

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 strength training will make you ‘look bulky’ due to muscles significantly increasing in size. This isn’t the case and should not be a reason to put off getting involved in strength training.

The truth is strength training 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 alleviating pain by strengthening your muscles around particular joints. Whatever you want to achieve from strength training, you can gain continual positive outcomes.

 2. 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.

That doesn’t mean it’s got to be an uncomfortable experience to gain the benefits. For this reason, it’s important to discuss with the health professional helping you any concerns you have about pain or particular exercises. That way, your experience can be taken into account when designing your tailored exercise program.

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

 3. 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’re someone who has more energy after lunch or in the evening.  Ask yourself: What time of day is going to best suit me to schedule exercise? When am I most likely to enjoy it, with energy and enthusiasm? That will be the best time of the day to exercise.

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

However, exercising before meals can also have positive effects. After meal exercise is a good time to exercise to help the body remove glucose from your bloodstream. As we exercise, our muscles contract and glucose is drawn 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 you have to exercise straight after you’ve finished a meal, but one to two hours after your meal can be an ideal time to get those muscles working.

For more information about exercise, register for Home exercise made easy: Practical guide to home exercise that will be presented by one of our accredited exercise physiologists on August 27  from 10am-11am. For any other questions regarding exercise and your diabetes management call our Helpline on 1800 177 055 and asked to speak to one of our accredited exercise physiologists.



By Bianca Penning, Accredited Exercise Physiologist

Keywords: BGLsexercise

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