Whether you want to tone up, slim down, or boost your mood, you’ve likely taken a stab at tweaking your fitness routine. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of fitness advice out there that won’t help you meet your goals and could actually do more harm than good.
There’s no shortage of information sources in the world today. This is both a blessing and a curse. This is particularly true when it comes to health, nutrition, and fitness advice.
6 FITNESS MYTHS
- Strength training makes you bulky. Building huge muscle requires testosterone coupled with a serious weight-training regimen (not to mention a protein-filled diet), so you aren’t going to sculpt a bodybuilder physique unless you really want to.
- A higher number on the scale, the fatter you are. It depends where those pounds are coming from: fat or muscle. The difference is the density. A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. That’s why it’s possible to become leaner and healthier while at the same time gaining weight.
- If you’re not sweating then your not working hard enough. Sweating is not necessarily an indicator of exertion, sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself. It’s possible to burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat. Try taking a walk or doing some light weight training with a personal trainer.
- If you feel okay while working out then your not overdoing it. One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when starting or returning to an exercise program is doing too much too soon. The reason we do that is that we feel OK while we are working out. You don’t really feel the overdoing it part until a day or two later. No matter how good you feel when you return to an activity after an absence, you should never try to duplicate how much or how hard you worked in the past. Even if you don’t feel it at the moment, you’ll feel it in time, and it could take you back out of the game again.
- Using machines are the safest way to exercise. Although it may seem as if an exercise machine automatically puts your body in the right position and helps you do all the movements correctly, that’s only true if the machine is properly adjusted for your weight and height. Unless you have a coach or a trainer or someone figure out what is the right setting for you, you can make just as many mistakes in form and function, and have just as high a risk of injury, on a machine as if you work out with free weights or do any other type of non machine workout.
- No pain, no gain. Of all the fitness rumors ever to have surfaced, the “no pain-no gain” holds the most potential for harm. While you should expect to have some degree of soreness a day or two after working out, that’s very different from feeling pain while you are working out. A fitness activity should not hurt while you are doing it, and if it does, then either you are doing it wrong, or you already have an injury.
The invigorated interest in our health has also opened the floodgates for information, particularly around diet and fitness, that isn’t always the most reliable. There is so much information floating around about exercise, that it’s sometimes hard to discern fact from myth.
Fitness myths have always and will likely continue to plague the industry and confuse even the most committed fitness fans. For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. It’s best to consult with your gym instructor, coach, exercise physiologist or physiotherapist for instruction on how to exercise safely.
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