By Edgar James
Are we done with these stupid fitness myths already? Here are some fitness truths you need to know.
A lot of us have taken up the “fit” lifestyle; changes in diet, regime, hitting the gym and basically paying more attention to how we look and feel physically. Being fit is not easy and involves a lot of planning and actually understanding the needs of our own bodies.
Many of us are inspired by what we read or people we see and could tend to blindly follow things without actually checking them out first.
In short, myths exist when it comes to fitness too, and we probably have no idea about it!
So, before anyone goes ahead and says “I'm sure of what I'm doing” here are a few myths, busted:
1. Running is the Best Solution
Wrong. Running is a great form of cardio, yes, but should everyone take it up? Studies show that people who are overweight could easily injure themselves or end up having breathing problems if they start off with running.
A better alternative to running would be jogging, and taking break at intervals to let the heart rate slow down. Even if someone is just starting off with exercise, running for longer periods of time is not advisable.
2. Crunches for Flat Abs
This is another myth that has been going around for quite sometime. Here's what crunches really do: tone your ab muscles and nothing more. Crunches don't actually give definition to your abs, and compared to intense cardio exercises, they don't burn many calories either.
For someone who doesn't already have a slimmer torso and wants to get rid of belly fat, crunches are not the best option. Cardio exercises burn more calories, cut out more fat and prepare those muscles to be toned, for which crunches is one of the many good options.
[Editors note: if a major goal of yours is to get a flatter stomach, check out the 30-Second Ab-Solution]
3. Gym Longer, Get Stronger
Wrong again. How fit a person gets does not depend on how long he/she goes to the gym to workout. Every body type and fitness goal is different. More than the duration of the workout, the intensity and proportionality matters.
For instance, person A could workout for 45 minutes and get the same results as person B who's worked out for more than an hour. Quality matters, not quantity.
4. Skip Meals and Have Protein Bars?
Bad decision. Most protein bars, although alternatively called “health bars”, are loaded with preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Buying protein bars from stores and substituting them for meals could actually slow down your fitness journey towards your goals and load you up with unnecessary calories.
The best alternative would be to actually make protein bars at home, which is actually quite easy if you're willing to go that extra mile to eat clean.
5. Any Protein Powder Will Do
Absolutely not. Sure, they all have the “protein powder” label on them but in reality, each powder is composed of different ingredients and it's very important to do your homework before you decide to purchase one.
Firstly, it's important to choose between whey, soy and casein. Each type of protein is quite different from the other and does not cater to the same fitness goal. While one powder may be good for weight loss, the other would be perfect for quite the opposite and help you gain mass instead. Hence, do your research before purchase is important.
6. Calcium Comes Only From Dairy Products
Not at all. There are many greens which are highly rich in calcium and would be perfect substitutes, if drinking milk isn't exactly one’s preference. Kale, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, spinach and so on are rich in calcium and also extremely healthy to consume.
And these greens can be prepared in a lot of ways, either as juices, soups, or stir fried and added into regular meals. So, for people who've been dreading having milk every day, here's your answer!
7. Bigger Muscle, Greater Strength?
Think again. “Size matters” is a phrase that one hears a lot but, when it comes to fitness, size is not everything. How big one’s muscles are does not indicate how strong he/she really is. Again, the goal comes into picture; for someone whose goal is body building and a good looking physique, the size of the muscles definitely matters.
Whereas for an athlete or sportsperson, strength matters more than just size. You’d be surprised to see people with comparatively smaller muscles lifting much heavier weights with ease!
8. Soreness Equals a Good Workout
In many ways, this doesn't hold true. Usually when someone's muscles are sore after a workout, they consider it an indicator of a good exercise session and that they've made progress.
The truth is, there have been many professionals who've gone years without feeling any soreness at all, but have made a lot of progress physically. Soreness is nothing but the inflammation of muscles, which differs in magnitude from person to person. So if you don't feel sore after a workout, there's nothing to be worried about!
9. Women and Weights Don't Work Together
False. Many people have the misconception that women should not lift heavy weights because they bulk up too much and look “too manly”. Women have only 1/20th to 1/30th of the levels of testosterone that men do, so even if they're lifting heavy, their bodies cannot support muscle growth beyond a point.
Massive muscle growth would be possible only if a woman consumes 10,000 calories in one day and lifts heavy weights too. Considering how bizarre that sounds, women don't need to worry about looking too bulky and can go ahead and lift weights according to their body goals.
10. Losing Fat Only in Certain Areas, a.k.a. Spot Reduction
Can you, really? Localizing the process of losing fat is a big myth. When you train to lose weight, you have to be okay with losing weight overall. Although you could work a few extra exercises on your legs or arms, whichever you choose to tone more, the process of losing fat on only your legs or only your belly is not really possible.
High intensity training is a great option to really build on muscle mass and tone specific body parts, but only if you're willing to see an overall effect first.
Myths are everywhere, and they will always come around and try to confuse you. When it comes to your body and health, don’t just believe everything you hear!
For every fact, there are 5 myths to counter it. Hence, do your research well, with reliable sources, and bust those myths right from the beginning.
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