When it comes to fitness, we are surrounded by friends telling us the best way to do it, or the internet telling us another, and even the professionals change their mind about what we should be doing or eating. How do we know which is fact and which is fiction? We decided to separate the fact from the fiction to help you out.
Myth 1: Women who weight lift bulk out.
Fact: In truth you need testosterone to bulk up. Women have testosterone, but it is such a low level that we just are not as capable of building such large muscles as men. If anything, the opposite is true for women. Muscles take up less room than fat, so when we strength train, we are more likely to loose inches rather than gain them!
Myth 2: We need to exercise hard every workout.
Fact: This is absolutely not true and can actually be damaging. Pushing yourself to new limits is brilliant and we all know the benefits of exercise. However, pushing yourself so hard every workout will end up causing you much more damage in the long term. You can suffer from muscle damage and strained joints. Shake up your regime with some yoga and pilates, or a swim. If you run one day, cycle the next and so on. Let muscle groups properly recover.
Myth 3: Working specific target exercises will take weight off in those areas.
Fact: Your body decides where you loose fat from, not the exercises you do. You could spend hours doing crunches hoping that you will loose some weight from that area. It simply isn’t...well...it isn't that simple. You will get stronger abs, without a doubt, but it wont immediately burn stomach fat. Running, for example, burns fat from all over your body, not just your legs. The key is to work out your whole body, mix cardio and weights, and you will gradually tone up.
Myth 4: No pain means no gain.
Fact: Exercise should never, ever cause you real pain. You should work hard, sweat and feel it, but you should still be able to breath and carry on a conversation. You need to know/learn the difference between when your muscles are just tired (the “burn”) and actual pain, which is sharp and, simply, painful. Always listen to your body and if in doubt stop what you are doing.
Myth 5: Burning fat at the right zone means you should keep doing just that.
Fact: Of course fat burns better at a lower intensity, but the important factor is the number of calories burned, rather than the percentage of fat calories burned. The basic fact is, the faster you run or cycle, the more calories you burn overall. And it is the total calories burned that will help weight loss ultimately.
The truth is, if it hurts stop and if you are unsure, just ask. These facts will help keep you healthy and injury free.