Fitness can be confusing, right? Magazines, internet articles, and buzzwords make it easy for trends and myths to catch on like wildfire.
When it comes down to it, being fit is not that complicated at all. We’re here to bust down eight common myths you hear in the world of exercise.
Common Fitness Myths
You need to work out to lose weight
Lifting weights makes you bulky
You should work out ’til you pass out
The only exercise for fat loss is cardio
You can choose where you want to lose fat
You can eat whatever you want after a workout
More sweat = more burn
Longer workouts = more benefits
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1. You need to work out to lose weight
False! Let’s clear things up. While your workout definitely benefits your waistline, it should be known that you don’t HAVE to work out to lose weight.
Exercise is beneficial to so much more than physique as it releases endorphins in your brain and can be a great stress-reliever. When it comes down to it, losing weight really happens in the kitchen.
Your gym routine will speed up the process, but a daily walk will work just fine.
2. Lifting weights makes you bulky
Ladies, are you afraid to hit the weight room? Don’t be! Lifting weights can be fun, empowering, and help you to set strength goals and focus on numbers beyond the scale.
Forget the notion that you’re going to bulk up. The truth? It takes a LOT of effort to put on muscle. You’re not just going to pile on the gains with a casual lifting routine and a moderate diet.
Your body requires loads of extra energy and specific programming to get ‘bulky,’ so don’t worry. You’ll just progressively look more athletic and toned.
3. You should work out ’til you pass out
We’re constantly under the impression that we have to work hard. The hustle mentality is okay sometimes but it’s NOT realistic everyday.
When it comes to working out, it’s good to set goals and go after them as your body and mind allow. Oftentimes, your mind will tell you that you can’t before your body does, and pushing out that one last rep or mile is okay.
On the other hand, pushing the limits everyday is not necessary for success. Just because you’re not dead tired or super sore when it’s all said and done doesn’t mean you didn’t work hard enough.
4. The only exercise for fat loss is cardio
The best exercise for fat loss? Probably the exercise you’re most likely to stick to on a regular basis. In that case, whatever is the most fun. For some people, it isn’t cardio.
While running burns a lot of calories, high-intensity interval workouts (like kettlebell training) do the same damage in a shorter period of time while incorporating resistance training.
Lifting heavy weights will help you maintain or build muscle, which in turn increases metabolism. The absolute holy grail of exercise for fat loss is cooking and eating balanced meals, though.
5. You can choose where you want to lose fat
Just because we’re working our abs doesn’t mean we’re on our way to a six pack. Six pack abs develop when the core is developed and the body is at a low enough overall body fat percentage to show it.
This has just about nothing to do with how many sit-ups you do. The idea that we can spot target fat is wrong, and that’s okay! Focusing on full-body exercises, a good diet and building strength can eventually smooth out the rougher edges.
6. You can eat whatever you want after a workout
Technically, you can eat whatever you want whenever you want. Unfortunately, we sometimes use exercise as an excuse to have a little (or a LOT) of that “forbidden food.”
While working out can give us a metabolism boost, burn a few extra calories and make us feel like we ‘earned’ that treat, it’s a much better idea to eat for fuel and recovery, not as reward. Instead, reward yourself with a sauna session or a new book.
Skip the ice cream for protein that will feed your muscles and healthy starches like sweet potato to build up your energy.
7. More sweat = more burn
While this may FEEL like the truth, it’s simply not. It’s great to break a sweat, and we often feel accomplished when we do. Sweating it out can even be quite therapeutic.
Go ahead and sweat it out, we’re not saying it’s wrong. Alas, equating sweat with calories burned or a ‘job well done’ just doesn’t hold up.
Sweating is merely the body’s way of managing heat, so we sweat as much as we do sedentary sitting beneath the sun as we might during a brisk walk on a mild day.
8. You have to work out for ‘x’ amount of time to see benefits
If anyone ever tells you that you have to workout for 45 minutes, an hour, or more than that per day to see results or benefits, they’re wrong.
We’re here to tell you 5 minutes is good enough. 10 minutes is better, 20 is awesome, and 30 is ideal. The biggest exercise myth is to do something that doesn’t work for you.
Fitness is an individual journey. Whatever amount and type of exercise easily fits into your daily routine without stress is perfect.
Have you regretted falling victim to one of these myths in the past? Share this with your fit friends to spread the message!
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