5 Fitness Myths Debunked
Have you fallen for fitness myths? Maybe that’s why you’re constantly frustrated by not meeting your fitness goals. That’s because your goals may be based on unrealistic or flat-out false ideas about fitness and exercise. In other words, you’re chasing after false fitness facts.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of Americans are overweight. But that’s about the same amount of Americans who don’t exercise at all. Maybe they’ve started and stopped, or maybe myths and misconceptions have kept them from even trying. Here are five of the most common fitness myths, busted!
MYTH 1: EXERCISE IS HARD
Exercising should be fun, not an extremely complicated chore. You should feel both energized and relaxed at the end of your workout, not stressed out, as though it were just one more thing on your to-do list. If you are not enjoying your exercise routine, then you need to find something else that will get you off the couch. The best way to start is by choosing something new, kickboxing or spinning, for example, and adding more challenges as you feel ready. Make your health and exercise schedule a priority, don’t cancel a workout appointment unless you have no choice. This will not only make you feel more energetic and increase your sense of well-being, it will boost your self esteem and confidence, too.
MYTH 2: NO TIME, MONEY, OR I'M TOO OLD TO EXERCISE
This ties in with Fitness Myth 1. Honoring and loving yourself includes taking care of your body, including exercising. Even the busiest person can fit in some time to exercise and for that you don’t need to pay for a gym membership or own expensive equipment. Just including a daily walk in your schedule is all you might need to have visible results. According to the Daily Mail, taking the time to go for a daily walk could have great health benefits to combat major illnesses, including dementia and cancer. It is never too late to exercise and you are never too out of shape to reap the benefits either. Yoga, walking, moving any way you can is all you need to do. In fact, the CDC recommends that adults should exercise 150 minutes weekly but not all at once — just work in a fun, easy, vigorous workout whenever you can, every day.
Other tips: Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a desk break to stretch or stand, park your car a few blocks farther from your office or get off the subway one or two stations before your destination. Don’t take the car when you can walk or bike.
MYTH 3: NO PAIN, NO GAIN
Neither feeling pain nor sweating excessively are signs that you are exercising properly. In fact, pain during a workout can be a sign that you are hurting yourself or pushing too hard. Just look for that zone of comfortable discomfort, so that you feel challenged without suffering. The same goes with sweating. Sweating profusely is by no means an indication that you are burning more calories. The real fitness fact is that you are just losing more water, which can lead to dehydration. In any case, you’ll regain the any weight lost through sweating as you drink water again.
MYTH 4: LIFTING WEIGHTS MAKES WOMEN BULKY AND CRUNCHES CUT BELLY FAT
Strength training is always a good way to add some muscle, improve bone density, and decrease fat in both men and women. Even when you are sleeping, your muscles remain active after lifting weights. And the truth is, we women don’t get big and bulky from lifting weights, simply because we don’t have as much testosterone and we have less muscle tissue than men. And since there is no such a thing as spot reducing fat, when it comes to your abs, the best thing is to try exercises that will engage your core muscles, such as yoga, squats, lunges and kettle-bells. While crunches will definitely strengthen the abdominal area, they alone will not reduce your waistline.
MYTH 5: YOU MUST STRETCH BEFORE EXCERCISING
Did you know that the New York Times reported that stretching before exercising might be a fitness myth? Per the Times, new studies show that, “pre-exercise stretching is generally unnecessary and likely counterproductive.” Stretching at the end of the workout is safer and more effective to stretch muscles, improve posture, flexibility and blood flow, and reduce overall stress.
Remember, always consult your doctor or primary care physician before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.