I don’t mind admitting it: Some of my hesitancy toward running is steeped in vanity. I’ve always heard that running can cause wrinkles by jiggling and jarring your face with every stride, breaking down valuable collagen in the process. Could I–and all the folks I’ve heard that from–be wrong?
And what about when a trainer or aerobics instructor insists that you cool down before leaving class to minimize muscle soreness? Hogwash?
The April issue of Fitness magazine tells us that these are some of the fitness lies we–and our trainers–tell ourselves.
“Having performed surgery on many women marathoners, I can say that their bodies overall are very toned, which refutes the notion that pounding breaks up collagen,” said Dr. Joe M. Gryskiewicz, president-elect of the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation. Instead, that gaunt and loose look more likely comes from having less body fat and spending more time in the sun. that said, if you take up running, you’ll have yet another great reason to wear good sunscreen.
And that cool down? Turns out it’s more for your heart than your muscles. “I would recommend doing it after any class to allow people to get their heart rates down,” says Dr. Carl Foster, professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Not to worry if you need to cut your session a little short, though. “After a moderate workout, walking to the locker room will provide all the cool-down a healthy person needs,” Foster adds.