Six Fitness Myths – Busted
We take on six of the most common fitness misconceptions and beliefs. Follow us as we separate fact from fiction.
If you stretch before a workout you will reduce the risk of injury – FALSE
No matter how hard you try to stretch, it’s not guaranteed that doing so will prevent injury. Actually, research studies suggest that stretching won’t even help to improve your performance and it has overall zero beneficial (or prejudicial) effects on working out or preventing injury. What has that power – to actually prevent injury during your workout – is a dynamic warm up. In this exercise you’ll mimic the movements done while training and this can help to loosen tendons and muscles, get the blood circulating and activate the nervous system, preparing you to go.
If you are not sweating, you are not working out hard enough – FALSE
Sweating is the body’s defense against heat; it is basically the system’s way to cool down. But sweating does not mean we’re working out properly, nor does the contrary mean we’re not doing enough. We can sweat for a multitude of reasons – from being in a sauna, to eating spicy food or being in the hot sun – and this doesn’t mean we are losing weight or building muscle as we do.
The same truth goes for top athletes and Olympic champions who can go through an entire workout sequence without losing a single drop of sweat. And they are working out properly, for sure. Summary: sweating does not reflect calories being burnt or muscles being built.
You can eat whatever you like if you work out hard enough – FALSE
We wish! The fact is that it’s about 75% what you eat and 25% how you move. Exercising is paramount for a healthy lifestyle but when the bottom line is weight loss (or maintenance) there is no getting around the food we ingest.
Research shows that fitness depends on the caloric intake and on the quality of those calories. You just cannot compare eating 500 calories in trans fat- and sugar-packed doughnuts with eating the same amount of calories in a mix of fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs.
700 weight-loss cases showed that the people who dieted without exercise where able to lose over 10 kg in 15 weeks while those who exercised but did not diet lost under 3 kg in 21 weeks. But healthy fats should be included in your diet, as fat-free diets can reduce leptins and thyroid hormones that directly affect the body’s fat burning ability.
You can reduce belly fat with crunches – FALSE
Exercises can target and demand more from the muscles of specific areas but overall fat won’t be ‘collected’ from those areas directly. When you decide to do crunches you’ll be developing and toning your belly muscles and that will eventually show but overall weight loss won’t occur in that specific area; your body is coded to hold onto fat in determined locations and it might take more or less time to reach the goal of reducing belly fat depending on the way you’re designed.
Hot baths can prevent muscle soreness – FALSE
Actually, cold baths can. During a workout, the body heats up and the blood vessels widen. This is what allows room for waste products like lactic acid to settle in the muscles. Contracting the vessels is done with cold rather than heat.
Lifting weights will make you look big – FALSE
We often see women avoiding weight repetitions because of a fear of becoming too butch. Actually, when a total body workout focuses on three big muscle moves, your metabolism speeds up for the 39 hours following the exercise. So lifting can actually contribute to weight loss and toning more than simply building muscle. Also, men are more likely to bulk up due to them having 20 to 30 times more testosterone.