Watch Out for These Six Most Common Exercise Myths
On the surface, exercise may seem simple. All you have to do is move around or lift some heavy things, and that’s the gist of it, right? In reality, developing the right exercise plan to match your goals, ability, and personal preference can be anything but straightforward. To make matters worse, the world is filled with exercise myths. The confusing thing about these fitness myths is that many of them feel true. Some of these workout myths are harmless, but others will point you in the wrong direction, making it harder for you to see results at the gym.
So, to make sure you haven’t fallen for any of them, here are the six most common exercise and fitness myths.
Exercise Myth 1 – Crunches Will Get Rid of Belly Fat
If you are one of those people who think doing sit-ups every day will help you lose your love handle, you had better reevaluate the way you approach your workouts. According to WebMD, this exercise can strengthen your core and improve your posture, but it does little to eliminate the actual fat surrounding your mid-section. In fact, sit-ups and crunches aren’t even the most effective routines for sculpting your stomach. Planks, push-ups, and bicycle crunches have been shown to have far greater results towards achieving your six-pack abs. But in order to burn actual fat, a combination of cardiovascular activities, core straightening moves, and a proper diet is the most effective way to get your body fat percentage down.
Exercise Myth 2 – Weightlifting Will Lead to Bulkiness
This is, without a doubt, one of the biggest workout myths within the fitness community and is an especially common fear among women. Unless you are consuming excessive calories, your muscles will not balloon to Herculean proportions just from lifting weights. Women, in particular, have much lower rates of testosterone than men, making it more difficult for them to build big muscles.
With proper nutrition, a positive attitude, and a well-designed resistance routine, you can build a stronger and leaner physique.
Exercise Myth 3 – You Need to Dedicate at Least 60 Minutes to Every Workout to See Results
Your body starts burning more calories as soon as you begin moving. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a marathon, walking your dog, or simply vacuuming the house. You are always burning calories. So you should never feel the pressure to work out for great lengths of time in order to see results. In fact, if you’re running short of time, a simple 15-30 minute high-intensity workout is always better than not working out. As long as you can get your heart rate up and a good sweat going, you can improve your health and fitness.
Keep this determination up.
Exercise Myth 4 – You Can Exercise Away Poor Eating
Did you gobble up a few extra snacks last night or demolish that pint of ice cream after a fight with a friend? A trip to the gym can certainly make you feel better — after all, exercise causes the release of endorphins and is an excellent way to work through anxiety and stress — but it can’t make up for a habit of poor eating. Consider that, according to an article in Runner’s World, a 140-pound person will burn 7.6 calories per minute of walking. Compare that to the fact that munching a single DORITO will cost you 12.5 calories, on average. You’ll need to walk more than a minute and a half to burn off every DORITO that you eat.
Eating a healthy diet is a huge part of developing a healthy lifestyle. Choosing healthy foods will keep you fuller, make you feel better, and give you the energy you need to dominate your workouts. No matter how hard you push or how far you run, you can’t escape a bad diet through exercise.
Exercise Myth 5 – Men and Women Require Different Workouts
This is one of those common fitness myths that just feels true. After all, why do certain group fitness classes seem to attract mostly women while the men tend to congregate around the heavy dumbbells and barbells?
Of course, men and women aren’t the same. Their bodies produce different levels of hormones, and they tend to store fat in different areas of their bodies. However, men and women do possess the same body structure, and both body types will respond to exercise in the same way. Men are likely to develop more muscle when performing a strength-training routine, but women will still gain strength and build lean muscle. Likewise, men can improve their coordination, flexibility, and body awareness by trying yoga classes, a modality that is often considered more feminine.
Whatever your gender (or whether you prefer no gender at all), any type of exercise can work for you.
Exercise Myth 6 – Pain Equals Gain
One of the most persistent visuals associated with exercise is a face scrunched up in pain. Yes, a good exercise session usually includes you pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. You may feel your muscles burn as you get to the end of a high-intensity interval, or you may gasp for breath during a tough cardio session. A little discomfort is normal at the gym, but significant pain is not. It is important for you to understand the difference between taxing your muscles in a positive way that will build your strength and cardio and pain that may suggest over-exertion or even injury. If you feel a sharp, searing pain or begin experiencing throbbing pain after the end of your workout, this could signify an injury.
Do not “push through” this type of pain or ignore it. Rest. If the pain is significant or if it persists, contact your doctor.
Bust These Common Exercise and Fitness Myths
Now that you know some of the most common fitness myths, it’s time to kick them to the curb. Without these workout myths in your way, you can focus on creating the right exercise routine for you. Not sure how to do that? Then why not hire a personal trainer who can help you clarify your goals and develop a customized workout routine just for you.