Busting popular exercise myths

Busting 3 Popular Myths About Exercise

As scientists find out more about how the brain and the body work together to heal and fight disease and pain, a lot of what we have always been led to believe about exercise and aging is starting to be debunked.

Anat Baniel, a mind/body/fitness expert and author of Move Into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality, from Harmony Books (www.anatbanielmethod.com), believes that people can live better lives by rethinking three popular - but wrong - preconceived notions about our exercise and health.

"Often, when a practice or a belief has been around for a long time, we stop questioning whether it's true or not, and we simply accept it," Baniel said. "These are Myths we live by that are supposed to work for us, but either do so only partially, and could, at times, even harm us. So let's explore these three myths."

· Myth #1: The Stretching Myth - Recent studies have proven that stretching, the way many of us do before and after working out or even before athletes get ready for competition, is actually harmful to our muscles and may lower performance and contribute to chronic pain.

· Myth #2: The Flat Stomach Myth - Every guy wants to have their six-pack abs, and the gals a flat one. And there is a multi-billion dollar industry dedicated to helping people achieve that goal. However, because of the way our muscles and brain work, having tight, firm abs can actually serve to weaken your back, and adversely affect your range of movement and mobility as you age.

· Myth #3: The Aging Brain Myth - Until recently it was widely believed that our brains grow and create new connections only during childhood and that by the time we reach our 20s and 30s, our brains shrink at an ever increasing rate. The common belief is that this starts us on an inevitable downward path of loss of energy and memory, ever more limited movement, reduced sensuality and stamina, and the loss of intelligence and creativity. However, Baniel's work with tens of thousands of people and current brain research show that the brain can actually resume growing, creating new pathways and even enabling us to do new things that were not possible for us before.

"At the heart of all these ideas is that people do not consider the brain and the relationship between the brain and the body when they execute different exercises, lifestyle suggestions, childrearing suggestions, etc.," Baniel added. "That is how the myths are created, and it underscores our need to look beyond what we've been told, and rely more on how we feel and how the brain and the body actually work together."

Baniel's method is designed to improve human functioning through movement with attention, variation, awareness, turning on the learning switch and more. Her approach to vital, creative, and energetic life is based not only on the all-important regimens of diet, exercise, and stress management, which many of us are already following, but upon providing the brain with what it requires for us to grow, evolve and thrive.

Buy the book on Amazon: Move Into Life

For more information, visit www.anatbanielmethod.com

Move Into Life Workshop
July 11 + 12, 2009
Anat Baniel Method Center in San Rafael

About Anat Baniel:
Anat Baniel, a clinical psychologist and dancer who apprenticed under Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli scientist and one of the pioneers of the mind/body movement, has established an international reputation as one of the world's leading authorities in finding ways to access the brain to overcome pain and limitation, and increase vitality. It was through her work with tens of thousands of people whose lives she helped transform in seemingly miraculous ways that she developed the Anat Baniel Method.

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