There are a lot of myths about exercise that just won’t go away, but don’t let yourself be deceived! Here are 10 of the most common exercise myths and the truths behind them.
10 Persistent Fitness Myths
Myth #1: No pain, no gain!
Truth: It’s a common misconception that we have to feel pain while working out to lose weight and be healthy. Exercise DOES NOT have to be painful. Feeling discomfort (breathing hard and sweating) while exercising is normal. You should not be so out of breath that you can’t talk, but should not be too comfortable that you can carry out a conversation.
Learn how to identify muscle fatigue and muscle pain. Listen to your body. If you feel pain, STOP!
Myth #2: Ab exercises will guarantee a flat belly.
Truth: Doing lots of crunches or using an “ab machine” won’t give you a toned tummy. The only way to get a flat stomach is to remove the fat around the stomach. Aerobic and cardio exercises (to burn calories), strength training (to boost metabolism) and proper diet will help you get rid of belly fat.
Myth #3: You can only get in shape at the gym.
Truth: This one’s an absolute fallacy. You can exercise at the comforts of your home, plus it’s cheaper. You can set up your own home gym, purchase exercise videos and brisk walk or jog around your neighbourhood.
Myth #4: Low-intensity work out routines burn more fat.
Truth: What is important is the total calories burned during exercise, not the percentage of fat calories burned. Thus, the faster you bike or walk, the more calories you burn per minute. So although you will be burning lesser “fat calories”, you will be burning more total calories which helps you lose more weight.
Myth #5: You need to stretch before working out.
Truth: According to studies, stretching pre-workout only increases the chance of injuries. Warming up before working out is one of the best ways to avoid injury. Warm up for 10 minutes by doing light cardio exercises and then proceed with your workout programme. Stretch your muscles after exercising.
Myth #6: Working out is useless if you can’t do it regularly.
Truth: Even small amounts of time spent exercising is beneficial. Your health improves each time you work out. 30 minutes of exercise every day can reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. Take a short walk after lunch or in the evening, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jump rope, do push ups during your break. Any exercise is better than none!
Myth #7: Women who lift weights will bulk up.
Truth: Women have plenty of estrogen and have lower testosterone levels than men so it’s very difficult for women to build large muscles. In fact, women burn calories, increase lean muscle mass and slim down when they strength train.
Myth #8: A good workout means you have to work up a sweat.
Truth: Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down and has very little to do with how hard you are exercising. You can burn a lot of calories without sweating too much by doing light weight training or taking a walk.
Myth #9: A heart rate monitor is an excellent gauge to inform you how hard you’re exercising.
Truth: Your body is the best indicator of how hard you are working out. Perceived exertion – your calculation of how hard you are working out is more precise and reliable. Heart rate monitors can falter depending on the type of exercise you are doing.
Myth #10: You can spot reduce fat.
Truth: “Spot reduce” – fat reduction from a specific area of the body is impossible. Why? Because the areas your body stores fat in are hereditary. You have to lose weight all over in order to lose weight in one area. Watching what you eat, along with exercise and strength training are effective ways to “spot reduce” fat.
There are countless of fitness and exercise options to help you get in shape. But remember, not all of them are reliable. Enjoy a healthier and safer workout by staying away from these exercise myths.
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Rooting for you,
~ The HSO Team ~