We are almost at the end of January and hopefully you are starting to see some results with your body and how you feel. There is so much information on health and fitness on the internet that it can be sometimes be very confusing as to what to believe. New research is always overturning old beliefs about nutrition and fitness but there is some information that will never change.
Below are five of the most popular fitness myths that we get asked about as trainers and the real deal on each.
Fitness Myth #1 – Doing Ab Workouts Will Get Rid of Belly Fat
Can performing abdominal crunches help you lose belly fat? Simply, no. Doing abdominal crunches or any abdominal exercise for that matter is not the best way to slim down your midsection. Although performing crunches can help strengthen the muscles around your midsection and improve your posture, it has nothing to do with decreasing your body fat levels in this area. Basically, if you don’t lose the belly fat, you won’t see that 6 pack of abs you’ve been hiding for others to see. This is also true for any other area of your body where you are strengthening and trying to lose body fat.
Fitness Myth #2 – Lifting Weights Will Make You Look Bulky
If you’ve been avoiding weight training in fear of becoming too big, then I have news for you. Women have lower testosterone levels which is the hormone responsible to help with strength and muscle mass. Regardless of how much weights you lift, you will not get as big as men due to this hormone. With that being said, you can still build muscle, get stronger and improve your physique.
Fitness Myth #3 – More Gym Time is Better.
If you read my blog post on ‘Keeping it All in Balance – the Importance of Recovery’, you will know that the importance of recovery or rest time for the body is essential regardless if you are new to fitness or an elite athlete. I see so many beginners injure themselves from overtraining or doing too much too soon to see results faster. Symptoms of overtraining can include fatigue, decrease in performance, feeling unmotivated, and also weaken your immune system. More time spent in the gym can sometimes be too much of a good thing. Don’t sabotage your fitness goals or take away enjoyment from other aspects of your life. Learn to live your life in balance.
Fitness Myth #4 : Muscle Can Turn Into Fat
First of all, muscles and fat are two completely different tissues and you can’t transform from one to the other. When you stop working out, your muscle mass declines and your weight gain comes from taking in more calories than you burn off. When you start working out again, you start to add lean muscle tissue and decrease your body fat simply by weight training and performing cardiovascular activities. So if you are working out regularly and suddenly stop, you tend to gain body fat as a result from not adjusting your food intake to compensate for your decreased caloric needs.
Fitness Myth #5: If You’re Not Working Up a Sweat, You’re Not Working Hard Enough
Sweating is a biological response that cools your body and regulates your body’s temperature. You can still burn calories without breaking a sweat simply by walking or even doing some light weight training. Just because you are drenched after a run or a gym workout, doesn’t mean that you are burning more calories. How we perspire is also affected by the indoor/outdoor temperature, the intensity of your workout, and also the clothing that you are wearing. Some synthetic fabrics can trap in the heat. Sweat is not a good indicator of how many calories you are expending. Instead, try to focus on the duration, type, and intensity of your workout. Remember to properly hydrate yourself after your workout.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well