Today’s post has do with a few myths. Here is a list of my top 6 fitness myths. They are lots of myths out there. But I picked a few popular ones and decided to post a list of what I think are the top 6 fitness myths in no particular order.
1. Sweat. I need to sweat to have a good workout and lose weight. If I don’t sweat I’m not losing weight. This is a pretty old one and it also centers around the reason you see peeps exercising with sweatshirts, pants, or the weird looking rubber suits. You know that ones that look like you’re part of a Hazmat team. You’re basically setting yourself up for disaster. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself. Whether you’re exercising or it’s hot. Your body is cooling itself because it that doesn’t happen then you would pass and overheat. Sweating has nothing to do with exercise. Sometimes people don’t sweat as much and others sweat so much it’s like an ocean. Either way just make sure you’re staying hydrated with water.
2. Skipping meals will help me lose weight. This is a common fitness myth when someone wants to desperately lose weight. Sure you will lose weight. You stopped eating. Initially this may seem like a good idea but it will backfire. The body will always try to protect itself. It goes into this “starvation mode” process and your metabolism begins to slow down. This is counter productive because it makes it that much harder to lose weight eventually you will just plateau (not lose any weight) and perhaps gain a few pounds. In my experience in health coaching it was a two fold process, Your metabolism is slowing down and you’re also making up for lost time. You’re so hungry that now you’re overeating at the next meal or randomly snacking throughout the day that you don’t notice how much you’re doing it. This is the reason you may gain some a couple of pounds. This can also lead to progressive muscle loss as your body is looking for ways to fuel itself by using more protein (a topic for another discussion). Studies show a link between those who skip breakfast and obesity. Those who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than those that don’t. One thing is for sure is those that are successful at keeping weight off eat breakfast and don’t skip meals.
3. Exercise is painful. Exercise is not painful. Yes, you should feel some discomfort. Your muscles aren’t use to the workload it’s been given. Soreness is expected a day or two later. It’s pain during exercise that should concern you. One maybe you’re pushing yourself too hard and it’s time to scale it back. If it continues then it’s probably something you should see a doctor about. A good tip is to rest and see if it goes away. If so, try again. If it continues than stoop and see a doctor about it or maybe you’re doing the exercise wrong. Then seek some advice from a reputable fitness professional. Again, listen to your body. This leads to number 4, I’m so sore.
4. I need to “go all out” to get in shape. Or, I used to exercise back in the day, I can handle this. I see this a lot from men. I used to workout years ago and I’ll be fine. I can go hard or heavy. Then you discover you pushed yourself too hard and now you’re so sore you can’t exercise for a few days or even worse you get hurt. Everyone started somewhere. It’s called the beginning. When you haven’t exercised for quite sometime you’re at the beginning again. It’s not about what you used to do. It’s about where you are currently. You have to start over and that’s ok. For you beginners, it’s no big deal. You will get there. Put your ego aside and start.
5. Spot reducing will help me get a six pack or slimmer thighs. A huge fitness myth. The colossal one of all. For example, “If I work on my abs, I will lose this midsection.”. Sure you’ll get stronger abs and core which will help relieve back pain. But all that hard work doesn’t do any good with the body fat covering it. Your overall body fat percentage is what counts. You have to shed body fat all over. You can’t work one area of the body and lose fat only in that area. The body doesn’t work that way. A good combination of healthy nutrition plan and exercise will help you drop body fat and then you can start to see those muscles in your thighs and abs.
6. Lifting weights will make me gain too much muscle. Women, I know are particularly concerned with this one. “I don’t want to look those female body builders”. “I don’t want to look like man”. I hear the word “tone” all the time. For women, it’s usually “tone”. For men, it’s usually “shred”, “cut”, “lean”, etc. Essentially it’s the same thing. Women are afraid of “bulking up”. Women don’t have enough testosterone to “bulk up”. Also, unless your goal is to be a female body builder you’re not going to look like that. That’s entirely different program they are doing. A more advanced program. I love this quote from Bodybuilding.com “If women weren’t meant to have muscles, than why do we have them”. A great way to put it. If you want that “tone” lifting weights will help, as well as, a healthy diet. Then you will begin to see that muscle definition or “tone”. Men it’s also the same for you as well. Unless your goal is to get huge and gain lots of mass like a body builder or a strongman competitor you won’t get “big” like that. Yes we have to hormones to gain size but it’s a totally different program to obtain that look. You can still improve your strength, lose weight, and be lean. It just depends on you’re goals.
There you have it a list of the top 6 fitness myths. A few myths you’ll probably hear about on your journey. There are many benefits with a good exercise program, as well as, following a healthy nutrition plan. For example, heart health, strong muscle and bones to prevent injury, clean arteries, stress relief, better libido, better mood, better circulation, better sleep, etc.