Common Workout Myths
When it comes to working out and getting fit, it seems like everyone has their “expert” opinion. Unfortunately much of what’s out there is false or inaccurate. And with the sheer volume of information it can be hard to sift through to get to good, sound fitness advice. Here are some common workout myths to be aware of.
Myth: You have to workout every day to get in shape.
Truth: While you should do something to get your body moving each day, you should not go all out seven days a week. Your body needs time to recover from strenuous workouts and exercising intensely every day can do more harm than good. Shoot for two days of recovery per week to do only low intensity exercise like walking or gentle yoga.
Myth: For women, working out with weights will make you bulk up.
Truth: This is probably the most common fitness misconception out there. The truth is, women don’t have the chemical makeup to bulk up from the average strength-training routine. They produce far less of the hormone testosterone than men do. In fact men have about 30 times more testosterone than women which is why they tend to put on more muscular size than their female counterparts. What will happen if you add strength training to your routine? You will replace more of the fat on your body with lean muscle.
Myth: If you want a flat belly, do lots of abdominal exercises.
Truth: It is true that abdominal exercises can help you get definition in your ab muscles and trim your waistline. But do you know what’s more effective than any exercise out there for getting a flat belly? Diet. When it comes to achieving a trim midsection nothing works better than a healthy nutrition plan.
Myth: You need to do an hour of cardio for it to be effective.
Truth: Shorter intervals of cardio can be just as effective as hour long sessions – if you do them correctly. The key is to work short bursts of high intensity exercise into your routine. For example if you’re running, alternate between two minute intervals at a moderate pace and three minutes at a higher intensity, more challenging pace.
Myth: No pain, no gain.
Truth: While some soreness is totally normal and signals that your muscles repairing themselves, you should not be in serious pain during or after a workout. Sharp, stabbing or consistent pain could be a sign of injury. So if you’re feeling it at any point, listen to your body and stop.
Myth: It’s imperative to stretch your muscles before each workout.
Truth: Warming up is actually much more important at the beginning of a workout than stretching. Instead of stretching, try an exercise that gets your heart pumping like brisk walking or jumping jacks and save the stretching for after when your muscles are already limber.