There is so much conflicting fitness information out there. It can be difficult to know exactly what is right and what is wrong. It can get confusing at times.
Some information might be correct, some might be false. There is only so much that can actually be verified. This leads to information being passed on and if the information is slightly incorrect, or a variation of what the truth is actually – it can lead to many myths being formed.
This information is not specifically wrong, however, people can actually start to believe in all that they read and again, here is where the myth is formed.
Well, it’s your lucky day! I’ve dug deep to discover the truth about the most common fitness myths out there. Most of which, unfortunately, are based on hearsay rather than science.
So let us start you off in the right direction. So you know the difference between health and fitness facts and fitness myths:
Fitness Myth #1 – The More You Sweat The More You Burn
Drenched after your workout? Looking like you just stepped out of a swimming pool? This doesn’t necessarily mean you burned more calories than usual – sorry. While sweat can be a good measure of exercise intensity, it is not directly related to calorie burn. It is merely a biological mechanism our bodies use to cool down and regulate internal body temperature.
And sweat rate is different from person to person. Factors include age, gender, genetics, hydration, and fitness level. As well as environmental factors such as external temperature, type of activity and amount/type of clothing.
So next time you sweat a bucket during a warmup and decide to head home – think twice since you might naturally be prone to more sweat. And if you see the scales drop significantly after a sweaty workout – don’t pat yourself on the back just yet, since that may just be water weight loss.
Fitness Myth #2 – Your Workouts Have To Be Painful
The “no pain no gain” mantra probably holds the most potential for harm. Many of you have experienced a workout where you find yourself in pain and can’t sit down on the toilet for the next two days without your hamstrings, quads and glutes screaming at you every step of the way.. Meanwhile saying to yourself “If it hurts then I must be doing the right thing”.
While a little discomfort is natural, you should not be in pain especially while you are working out. That probably indicates that either you are doing it wrong or you already have a muscle injury. Pain is not a requirement for a successful workout.
And as for working through the pain, it is definitely not advisable. If it hurts – stop, rest and see if the pain goes away. If it doesn’t go away or increases during your workout then there is something wrong. You might even need to consult a doctor.
Fitness Myth #3 – A Protein Bar Is A Good Substitute For A Meal
Everyone loves a good ol’ protein bar – you can throw them in your bag and snack on them on the go. Their wrappers make them look super healthy and nutritious but truth is, they are highly processed and often packed with a lot of calories.
A protein bar should not be a taken as a meal replacement. If protein is what you’re after in your diet, then you are best off getting it from whole foods. Go for lean meats, low fat dairy, soybeans, and legumes. Keep the protein bars as a treat to be eaten instead of say, a KitKat or Snickers bar. Make sure to check the ingredients and the calories on the wrapper – most of them contain corn syrup, chocolate, sugar cane and chemicals!
Fitness Myth #4 – More Gym Time Is Always Ideal
We can’t deny it either – getting in shape and feeling healthy are all addicting feelings. However, don’t be a victim of overtraining. That is, don’t push yourself past the point at which your body can reasonably repair and rebuild.
Scheduling in rest days is key since your body needs to recover especially after an intense session. If you work out every single day, you can injure yourself and experience fatigue which inadvertently affects your ability to a good workout the next day. Overtraining can also interfere with restful sleep and that is necessary for your body to repair itself.
So be sure to take regular breaks, whether it’s every other day (beginners) or once a week for the more advanced.
Fitness Myth #5 – Cardio Is The Only Way To Lose Weight
Most of you probably believe that a large, exhausting amount of cardio is your only ticket to shedding weight. Well, technically cardio is an effective weight loss tool BUT only when accompanied by other exercises that target your whole body. And of course, paired with balanced nutrition.
For a lasting change, you have to integrate strength training into your routine – since more muscle mass equals a higher metabolism. Also don’t be afraid to try out heavier weights as studies show that women that lift heavier weights (with fewer reps) increase their calorie burn.
Fitness Myth #6 – Weight Lifting Will Make Women Bulk Up
So many women fear weight training because they worry they will suddenly grow large amounts of muscle from it (and look like she-hulk). Let me assure you – it won’t just happen because females have 1/20th to 1/30th of the testosterone levels that men have. They also have less muscle tissue.
Weight training is actually beneficial if you are after a slim, tight frame. This is because it helps build lean muscle mass and revs up your metabolism. The list of benefits goes on: stress reliever, better sleep, killer curves, anti-aging etc.
And so what if you bulk up a little? Remember ladies, our bodies were not created for the purpose of pleasing other people’s preferences. Learn to be confident in your own body!
So there you have it. These are some of the most common fitness myths that are out there and trust, there are quite a few people who believe or have believed in them at one point in their lives. However, when you come across another one of these cases – make sure to provide the right information.