When you start a fitness journey or a healthy lifestyle, the most important thing is to be informed. The best defence against failure is good information. These crushed fitness myths will help you recognize right from wrong and truth from lies.
You may be surprised to learn how many are really fiction, so here they are:
The more you sweat, the more fat you lose.
Sweat is your body’s way of getting rid of heat, is our body’s way of cooling off, it means you’re losing water weight, not fat. Fat is oxidized inside your body and it is not going to vaporize because you’re sweating! The sweat isn’t related to burning fat – it’s related to temperature regulation.
Doing crunches or working on an “ab machine” will get rid of belly fat.
Doing ab exercises like crunches might help strengthen the muscles around that area, but to be able to “see” your abdominal muscles has to do with your overall percentage of body fat. If you don’t lose the belly fat, you won’t see the abdominal muscles. Unfortunately you can’t pick and choose areas where you’d like to burn fat. So crunches aren’t going to target weight loss in that area. To burn fat, you should create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training elements. This will decrease your overall body fat content.
If you want to get in shape, you have to run for long distances.
If you want to lose weight or gain muscle, running miles may not be the best way to do it. The more efficient your body becomes at running, the fewer calories you’ll burn. A good tip if you really like to run is to add intervals. Interval workouts, whether programs on the machine or created by you, will always be the best option.
Occasional overeating makes you fat.
Eating more calories than your body needs will make you gain weight. But you can gain both muscle and fat depending on where the calories are coming from and whether you stimulate your muscles into growth. Occasional overeating will not make you fat.
No pain, no gain!
Exercise should not be painful! During your workout you should be sweating and breathing hard. You should not be so out of breath that you cannot speak, but should not be so comfortable that you can make a conversation. That’s how you know you are working at a good level. It’s important to distinguish between muscle fatigue (feeling “the burn”) and muscle/joint pain (uncomfortable pain during movement). Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you’re doing something wrong. Just listen to your body; if it’s painful, you have to stop!
Fruit is a healthy snack that can’t make you fat.
We eat food because it gives us nutrients and fuel, but any kind of food, no matter how healthy, can make you gain weight. Fruit has a lot of easily accessible carbs. When you provide your body easily accessible carbs, you’re basically telling it to stop burning body fat for fuel.