Fact or Fiction, Busting the Fitness Myths…

Working out over the years and talking to people both in and out of the gym, it is amazing the misconceptions and myths that exist about training and eating healthy. One of the greatest opportunities we have in our schools is teaching kids about sound eating habits and the benefits to exercise.

In my opinion, the amount saved in long term health care would run into the billions each year but unfortunately, we have actually taken away from Physical Education classes and the youth of today have very little guidance in this area. This is evident from the increase of child and teen obesity rates over the past twenty years.

So this post is about debunking some of these myths as well as interjecting some of my thoughts on things that may not be a myth but I think are overblown out of proportion in the health industry.

So let’s get started:

Women will get as big as men if they work out with weights…

Wrong.  Women have less muscle tissue and produce dramatically lower levels of testosterone than man.  Unless you are going to start on PED’s the female body cannot become ‘male like’.  Instead it becomes extremely fit.

Exercising a specific body part will reduce fat in that area…

Wrong. In order to lose fat on any part of your body you must lose fat throughout your body. Doing crunches isn’t going to burn fat in your abdominal area.

Running is the best way to lose weight…

Wrong.  A combination of strength training and interval training like HIIT will yield much greater results.   The more muscle you have (through strength training) the more calories you burn throughout the day in maintaining that muscle.

Eating fat makes you fat…

Wrong. Diets rich in omega 3 fatty acids and saturated fats lead to lower obesity rates and increased overall health. Good fats help build healthy cell membranes. Just stay away from the bad fats such as trans-fats (man-made).

More gym time is better for you…

Wrong. Your body needs to recuperate in order to rebuild from training sessions. Continued day in day out training sessions leads to unwanted weight loss, loss of sleep and makes you more prone to injury.

Running on a treadmill is better on your knees than running on pavement…

Wrong. The stress that a knee experiences when running has to do with the ‘impact’ the knee absorbs as your feet hit the ground, regardless of what type of ground. That’s like in football and the discussion of helmets related to concussions. The helmets being developed today help ‘absorb’ the energy caused by a collision across the entire head but does nothing in stopping the impact of the collision which is what hurts the brain.

Swimming is a great way to lose weight…

Wrong. It is a great way to increase muscle tone and lung capacity but the only way that swimming will help in weight loss is by swimming hours and hours every day. Only the elite athletes of the world do this. You can spend much more efficient time losing weight performing other activities.

If you are not sweating, you are not working out hard enough…

Wrong. Sweat and exertion have very little correlation. Sweating is just the efficiency of your body cooling itself down. That is why you may see two people doing the exact same exercise and one could be sweating like a pig and the other person is hardly working up a sweat.

No Pain, No Gain…

Wrong.  While you should feel some degree of soreness after working out, there is a difference between pain and being sore.  If you are feeling pain while working out, that is an indication that you have or are starting to have some sort of injury.

Carbs are bad for you…

Wrong. Carbs is your body’s first choice for fuel. If you deplete your body of carbs and fat, then your body starts fueling off protein or basically, your muscle. That is why you see skinny people that are actually flabby. Simple carbs like processed food, baked goods, candy are bad for you but not complex carbs.

Fruits are a healthy snack, eat all you want…

Wrong. Fruits have lots of fructose which is sugar. Just because it comes from a fruit doesn’t mean that it is ‘good’ sugar. Your body reacts to sugar regardless of the source the exact same way, raising insulin levels and inhibiting fat burning. Fruits do contain fiber and vitamins so they are beneficial but eat with caution, do it before a workout and never over indulge!

Squats are bad for the knees…

Wrong.  Doing them wrong is bad but squats when performer properly actually helps the knees.  Too many people go bouncing at the bottom, that’s what hurts them but not the squat itself.

Hope this helps in your quest to get…Fit Forlife!

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