The majority of the population is overweight. Most of the younger generation sees the issues older adults, who have neglected their health, have to deal with, and they work like hell to avoid ever having to go through that themselves.
Because of this, the fitness industry has boomed. There are more of us than ever before looking to get fit and learn about fitness, which means, there’s more confusing information on the Internet than ever before.
Here are a some exercise myths you need to stop falling for right away:
Cardio is best for weight loss
Generally, when people are trying to lose weight, the very first step they take is on the treadmill. It’s a widely-held belief that cardio is the best option available to help us shed that extra fluff.
Well, this couldn’t be more wrong. While cardio is good, it quickly loses its overall effectiveness in terms of calorie burning. The body adapts quickly to what you throw at it and adapts to cardio within four-to-five sessions, which means while you may still be running three-to-five miles in the same amount of time, you’re burning less and less energy to do the same amount of work. In other words, you’re losing less weight.
Cardio also doesn’t help you build muscle. Too much cardio can actually cause you to atrophy muscle tissue, meaning your metabolic rate will also decline.
All of this basically means that too much cardio will leave you skinny fat, with the metabolism of a 70-year-old woman – 50 years too soon.
So mix it up – Resistance and Cardio need to be done!
You need to “work up” to the gym
Most people generally avoid going to the gym until they feel ready to face their fears of people staring at them. Doing this makes it far too easy to give up on the gym completely. The truth is in fact that gym-goers only really care about themselves, or watching the instructor at the front of the class. Yes they may give you a quick look as you walk in, but that’s about it – So just go in and get started, you will soon realise that the gym is there to support people and not to scare you
Working out is all you need to do to lose weight
It takes 35 hours of exercise to lose just one measly pound of fat without any dietary intervention. This means that fat loss can be considered a fulltime job. Go ahead and turn in your two weeks’ notice.
I’m not saying that exercise is useless or anything ridiculous like that — exercise is awesome. But, exercise isn’t all there is to the weight loss equation. Most people see it as the exact opposite and think exercising allows them to eat that extra slice of pizza or cookie.
In reality, exercise isn’t a punishment, reward or tool that allows you to eat more. It’s merely something we do that shapes our bodies into what we desire. It’s a large tool on a tool belt of things at our disposal.
If weight loss is your goal, then dieting will play the majority of the role. Without getting your diet in order, weight loss will be infinitely more difficult in the long run.
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.
In fact, “strength training will help you lose weight faster and keep it off in the long run,” notes Jeffrey Janot, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at South Dakota State University in Brookings. If you also do cardio, it’ll help you retain muscle as you drop fat, as well as prevent your metabolism from slowing. So don’t focus all your efforts on the elliptical machine — some bicep curls could actually help you reach your ultimate goal.
Doing crunches and ab workouts will get rid of belly fat
You can do crunches till you pass out, and you still might not get a six-pack. Why? If you have a high percentage of body fat, your abs will be covered with — you guessed it — fat. And no, doing ab exercises won’t necessarily make you lose that belly fat, either. The truth is, you can’t spot-train (otherwise, wouldn’t we all be running around with flat stomachs and slim thighs?). In order to get visibly toned abs, you have to first reduce your overall body fat, which means plenty of cardio, coupled with strength training for faster results. After that, the fruits of your labor should start becoming apparent.
No Pain No Gain
A little discomfort is okay, but if you feel a sharp pain anywhere, stop what you’re doing and consult a doc, says exercise physiologist Dayna Davidson.
Exercise machines are better than free weights
Many exercise machines are actually designed for men, which can make it tough for women to nail proper form when you use them. And because machines isolate specific muscles, you actually burn fewer calories on a machine than you do when you exercise freestyle.
Running on a treadmill as as effective as running outside
Because running against wind or on uneven terrain engages more of your muscles, it requires more energy and ends up burning about 10 percent more calories than running the same distance on a treadmill.
Sweating means your out of shape
It sounds counterintuitive, but the fitter you are, the sooner your body begins to sweat, so a person who’s in extremely good shape will produce more sweat than somebody who isn’t,” says Beth Stover, M.S., C.S.C.S., a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Barrington, Illinois. “With each workout, you become a more and more efficient sweating machine.”
Running is better than walking
Since walking and running target the same muscle groups—just at different intensities—they come with similar health results when you compare overall energy burn, according to the author of a recent study. (That said, it takes about twice the amount of time to expend the same amount of energy walking as you would running. So running still wins if you’re strapped for time.)
Cardio comes first
Stand at the door of your gym and watch the next 10 people walk in. You’ll likely be observing a traffic jam at the treadmills. Yet the most effective way to organize your workout is to strength train first, and hit cardio second. Running or doing other cardio first will reduce glycogen levels, which can prevent you from training as hard as you need to, On the other hand, weight training first will increase levels of testosterone and cortisol, both of which are beneficial to your workout.
Static stretching is a must
While it’s often repeated that static stretching is a must before workouts or athletic events, recent studies have proven that’s a myth. In fact, static stretching done pre-workout can reduce performance and power. So what’s the solution? While static stretching should still be a part of your post-workout routine, dynamic stretching should be your focus at the start of a workout.