Ineffective Exercise Myths Debunked
Let’s face it: very few people actually enjoy exercise. While most of us want to look and feel healthy, life gets in the way. Work, kids, school and other stresses can keep us from making the right decision to drag ourselves to the gym. We’re all busy, but dedicating even the smallest amount of time to physical activity each day is easier than you think! Don’t fall into these traps along the way.
Rather than focusing on the weight loss aspect of exercise, we should be active for the general health benefits. Exercise helps lower your risk for certain types of cancer, curbs your risk of diabetes and heart disease, reduces stress and strengthens your immune system! A healthy body is about more than just how you look on the outside. The next time you set a fitness goal for yourself, don’t believe everything you hear…
“Crunches are the best exercise for my core.”
Actually, they’re one of the least effective core exercises out there! Simply put, crunches do not get rid of belly fat on their own. You must incorporate cardio into your exercise routine to reduce the amount of excess weight around your midsection before you can see any results. When muscle is lost beneath belly fat, crunches are no help.
“As long as I get enough exercise, I can eat whatever I want!”
How much is ‘enough’? Unfortunately, it is untrue that you can eat fast food for every meal and not gain weight because you spend an hour a day at the gym. Some people have a fast metabolism that allows them to eat what they want without gaining weight, but that should not lead you to think that you can eat anything as long as you burn off the calories. Proper nutrition not only plays a role in weight loss, but it also helps to prevent disease.
“I can target the location of my fat burn.”
Sadly, you can’t train your body to focus on the one place where you’d like to burn fat. Even if you’re working your legs really hard one day, your body is burning fat wherever it can and using it as fuel to keep you going. Exercise reduces body fat overall, not just by area.
No pain, no gain.
No one should ever exercise to the point of pain; that is not a recipe for gain! The phrase suggests that working yourself to the brink of injury is the only way to see results. While you should push yourself to learn your limits, never think that you have to continue exercising until it hurts in order to reach your goals.
“Women shouldn’t lift heavy weights to avoid looking like a bodybuilder.”
Don’t be afraid of weights heavier than five pounds because someone told you this; it’s untrue! Women are not naturally able to build massive muscles because we have lower levels of testosterone than men. Lifting weights is a great way to increase the rate at which your body burns calories, so don’t be turned off from it by this myth!
“Stretching is necessary to reduce my risk of injury.”
This myth is the most deceiving of all. Everyone is told to always stretch before and after a workout, but studies indicate that static stretching prior to exercise has almost no impact on your muscles. In fact, it could actually be detrimental! Static stretching involves no movement; you simply hold a stretch for a long period of time. It can increase your flexibility, but has no effect on your strength, thus not likely to prevent injury.
A healthy lifestyle combines a nutritious diet with the proper amount of exercise. Whether you’re new to working out or you’ve been taking our classes for years, stop by our facility today to get started on your fitness journey.