With so many do’s and don’t around and a new craze in fitness coming up every other month, what do you believe? You hear something at the gym, someone tells you something, and you pass on the message. Soon, your entire group believes that this half truth, is in fact true. Well, some myths can be damaging but some less so. But how do you choose what to believe and what not to believe?
Keeping focused on your goals and having a good training regimen is what’s going to get you in shape. A good balance of cardio and strength training and constantly mixing it up, is the only way to burn fat, really.Here are 10 Fitness Myths that we want to debunk:
1. Cardio is the best way to burn fat.
Strength training is the best way to get rid of unwanted fat. Weight lifting helps you build and maintain lean muscle mass, which increases your overall metabolism and causes the body to release hormones that induce fat loss.
2. Lengthening your stride when running is more efficient.
You’re wasting energy by trying to force your foot out further than what your natural stride is. Over-extending causes a jarring effect when you forward heel strike. This slows you down and can potentially cause shin splints. Ideally, your foot should land right under your body. Aim for a natural gait, and always activate your core to keep your stride light and easy.
3. Running on a treadmill puts less stress on your knees than running on the road or pavement.
Running is a great workout, but it can impact the knees, and since it’s the force of your body weight on your joints that causes the stress, it’s the same whether you’re on a treadmill or running on the road. The best way to reduce knee impact, is to vary your workout. Swimming is terrific for taking stress off your joints.
4. For the best weight-loss results, you need to exercise in the “fat-burning zone”- working out for 30 minutes at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
You can also do high-intensity intervals: Walk for five minutes, jog for five minutes and sprint for three minutes. Then take a short break and repeat.
5. Lifting weights will make you look bulky
If you’ve been avoiding the free weights for fear of becoming the Incredible Hulk, no need to flee anymore. When it comes to increasing muscle size, testosterone is key. Men have 20 to 30 times the more testosterone than women, which is why they can bulk up so noticeably. But for you to reach the Hulk size, you would require hormone help, as a woman.
6. Running is counterproductive to strength training
Running is definitely not counterproductive to building muscle, unless you’re looking to dramatically increase muscle mass. In fact, as a weight-bearing exercise, running helps develop more lean muscle mass in the lower body, which also keeps your bones healthy. That doesn’t mean it’s a substitute for strength training, though. You should include lower-body strength moves like squats and lunges and upper-body moves like push-ups and pull-ups to reduce injury risk, increase stamina, and boost metabolism.
7. Doing crunches or working on an “ab machine” will get rid of belly fat.
In order to burn fat, you should create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training elements. This will decrease your overall body fat content, including the area around your midsection. That’s the only way to reveal your six pack. That, and planking!
8. Women need different exercises than men.
When it comes to fitness, men and women are from the same planet. Both sexes have the same body structure but different hormonal make-ups, which may mean a difference in muscle strength but does not mean they should work out any differently. Men tend to focus on abs, chest and arms, and women tend to focus on gluts and legs. They’re each forgetting one half of their bodies.
9. I’ll burn more fat on an empty stomach.
While this statement might technically seem true as in the morning the body is deprived of nutrients so working out will tap fat stores. But in reality, working out on an empty stomach burns more muscle, which defeats the purpose of any fat-loss diet. Working out in a fasting state is sub-optimal, since the lack of nutrients will not allow for peak performance.
10. Eat only egg whites and not the yolks.
Egg yolks have long had a bad rep for increasing one’s cholesterol. However, eggs won’t affect your cholesterol balance unless they’re fried in lard and served with bangers and fries on the side! In fact, the good fats in the yolks helped to reduce LDL, or the bad cholesterol. The yolk contains most of the vitamins and minerals in the egg, plus half the protein.. so it truly is a superfood and good for you.. all in moderation of course!
And these are some of the fitness myths that we wanted to debunk. Have you heard of any fitness myths that people are talking about these days? Care to share?