Revealed: The Top 5 Exercise Myths Debunked
Following on from my previous post on the Les Mills Body Pump and the myths that surround it, I thought I’d put up a more general post about the kind of workout myths you might run into regarding general fitness, no matter what routine or program you use.
Now, each person is different and their body will react differently to the next guy or gal. This is perhaps the reason why these myths spring up in the first place. They persist because we believe word of mouth a little too easily sometimes. It’s important that you find out the truth for yourself by testing your personal results and tracking over time if it applies.
Some myths can do you harm if you continue to believe them, and that’s why I believe it’s important to address them and get the truth out there. Many of course are harmless, but if you follow the wrong advice for an extended period of time, you could be doing your body some harm. You may even be avoiding the very things that are good for you.
So without further ado, this is my countdown of the top 5 fitness myths.
Top 5 Fitness Myths
“If I can’t workout often and hard enough, then it’s not worth doing at all.”
It’s recommended that you do 30+ minutes of cardio up to 5 times a week, and 2 or 3 days of weight training too. Many people lead hurried lives these days, and feel they can’t do it. However, they then make the wrong assumption that because they can’t keep up with it, then it’s better to not bother at all. Remember – any exercise is good exercise. Even if all you manage is a little extra walking during your lunch break, it all counts.Exercise and keeping active is proven to reduce stress and keep you healthier, so there’s no excuse not to do at least a little activity each day.
“If I’m not sore the next day, then I didn’t work out hard enough.”
This is another exercise myth that can be quite harmful if you believe it. Soreness is actually caused by minute tears in your muscle fibers. It is perfectly fine to experience some soreness the next day, especially if you’re doing something new (or that you haven’t been doing regularly).However, if you are feeling sore for days afterwards, then you have most likely overdone it. You may have caused an injury or inflamed an existing one. If you are sore after every single workout, then you are not giving your body enough time to recover, which is vital because that is when your muscles grow.Always remember to stretch – warm up before you work out, and stretch again afterwards with a cool down.
“As a woman, I will get too bulky if I do any heavy weight lifting.”
Ladies, don’t worry about getting too bulky. The fact is, the female body is not actually suited to bulking up in this way. That’s why it’s so rare to see women who are big and bulky. Your body actually doesn’t produce enough testosterone to build the large muscles you’ve seen in the ads.You may say that you have seen women bodybuilders who look overly bulky. It is possible, but testosterone is the main factor in building large muscles, and usually these women have taken steroids or hormone injections.For the normal working woman, this is not an issue. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights, because it will make you stronger, not bulkier. In my opinion, strong women are sexier 🙂
“Swimming is a great way to lose weight.”
This will be a surprise to many people. The buoyancy of the water actually supports your body, which means you are not working it as hard as when you go for a run, for instance.That said, swimming is great for toning your muscles, increasing lung capacity and cardio. However, it’s well known that a good swim increases the appetite, making it more difficult to stick to a meal plan.
“Using machines means I’m not doing anything wrong.”
Finally, one we can all relate to. Machines are a blessing and a curse in equal measure. They have improved our lives immensely over the last century, but remember the old saying – if you put junk in, you get junk out.Exercise machines may appear to be a safe way of keeping fit, but it is absolutely imperative that you get the settings right. They do not automatically know if you are using the correct form. You must set the machine according to your weight and height in order to get your body in the right position.Having a personal trainer helps too. Some people don’t like the thought of a personal trainer watching over them, but you can just hire one to help show you if you’re doing the right thing or not. Then once you understand, you can let loose and do it for yourself. It is crucially important that you keep the right form to avoid injury.