14 Myths of Exercise
The field of fitness is awash with myths; little snippets of misinformation and half-truths. These can be very misleading when researching information for the benefit of your own health. After all, let’s not joke about; this is ultimately your body we’re talking about here!
Therefore, it’s vital that we understand the truth behind some of these myths and establish the facts. In this article you can find a number of myths associated with fitness and exercise, and the truth behind it.
1.) I need special exercises to reduce my pot belly
To get rid of a pot belly, big butts, wobbly thighs, or indeed any overweight part of the body, you need a simple combination of losing excess body fat, and strengthening the underlying muscles.
2.) If I’m not sore the next day, I didn’t work out hard enough
This isn’t a good thing! Pain means you’ve either done yourself an injury or caused a tear in the muscle. The only time you should experience pain following a workout is if you’re training for a big event such as a marathon.
3.) Strength training will make me bulk up
Strength, or resistance training is definitely the best way to burn fat. It’s highly unlikely that you will bulk up unless you take steroids and exercise for 10 to 12 hours per week. Adding five pounds of muscle however will make you look better and help you burn more calories any time of the day, any day of the year.
4.) Running is the best way to get fit
There’s no argument that running is an excellent way to get fit, and burns more calories per hour than most other forms of exercise, but it is not the only, or even necessarily the best way to get fit. The best way to get fit is the way that you enjoy the most. The way that motivates you, and will ultimately cause you to stick at it.
5.) Warming up before working out isn’t necessary
Wrong! It’s essential. It will prepare your heart and muscles for the exercise that they’re about to undertake, further to that it also reduces the chance of injury, and helps you to perform better. A warm up should consist of around 5 to 10 minutes of easy cardio. Stretching is recommended after exercise, rather than before it, as part of your cool down; and yes, you need to cool down at the end as well as warming up at the beginning!
6.) Dieting will help you lose weight
This sounds crazy, but those who diet are likely to put on weight in future. Think about it. If you take your body out of its regular eating routine to go on a diet, your body will gorge on the non-diet food its not had once you start eating in a routine again, and put weight back on as a result.
7.) Heat makes injuries feel better, and heal faster
The first response to any injury should be to stop the activity and apply ice. Ice dramatically speeds up recovery time, and the sooner applied, the better. Muscle injuries, after 48 hours of regular icing (20 minutes 4 to 5 times per day), you can start to alternate heat and ice.
8.) The best time to exercise is early in the morning
Whilst morning workouts do give your metabolism a boost at the start of the day, they’re also loathed by many. The truth is, as with the type of exercise you do, the best time to exercise is the time that you enjoy. After all, you’re more likely to stick with a workout if you enjoy it.
9.) Drinking water during exercise causes cramps
You’re more likely to get cramps as a result of not drinking water during exercise. Water is essential before, during, and after exercise. Sports drinks should be left alone unless you’re exercising for more than 90 minutes; your body has enough calories to see you through your workout.
10.) You can get a six-pack if you do lots of crunches each day
Getting a six pack has two parts to it; sure, doing crunches will make your abs stronger, but unless you lose the fat that’s covering them, no one will see them!
11.) Stretching isn’t necessary
As we touched upon earlier, stretching is very important for a workout routine, but should be performed at the end of your workout during your cool down phase, as opposed to during your warm up phase.
12.) Food after 8pm will turn into body fat
It’s not complicated when you think about it. The secret to weight gain is to take in more calories than you burn off, therefore the secret to weight loss is to burn off more calories than you take in. When you eat them does not come into the equation. Friendly tip though; eating small regular meals throughout the day is better for you than barely eating all day in preparation for a heavy meal in the evening.
13.) Your metabolism slows down once you hit 30
True and false… Metabolism (i.e. the rate at which you burn calories), does begin to slow down once you pass the 30 mark, but you don’t have to let it. Vigorous exercise such as resistance, and interval training will speed up your metabolism. It will more than make up for effects of the aging process. Aging can be controlled by what you do and don’t do, rather than letting nature simply take its course.
14.) Swimming works your whole body and therefore is great for weight loss
Swimming is a great work out, and it does work your whole body, but very few people lose weight from swimming alone. Many people simply swim too slowly, seeing the pool as a leisure activity rather than a piece of exercise equipment. Also, cool water seems to stimulate appetite, encouraging you to eat more. Even competative swimmers perform land based exercise such as running or stationary cycling in order to lose weight.
So there you have just 14 of the myths of exercise. Do you know any more? Why not register an account and add to this article?