Six Fitness Myths & Fads
Fitness myths and fads surround us every where we go. From the local gym to the Oprah Winfrey Show. People will tell you what you want to hear in order to sell a piece of equipment or idea. You’ve seen it on TV, you’ve heard the promises – ‘Use this and it will tighten your abs, sculpt your arms, super-charge your metabolism, burn calories like a furnace’. You will also hear so called experts make comments such as, ‘Women who lift weights will develop big, bulky muscles’ or ‘Eating after 7pm will make you fat’. All of these ideas have been saturating western countries for years, and unfortunately it is starting to appear throughout South East Asia as the fitness industry develops. Let’s set some myths straight before you are confronted with it in your area. Here are a few to get started.
Myth No. 1: I need an exercise to work my ‘lower abs’ and reduce my pot belly
There is no such thing as ‘lower abs’. The six-pack we keep hearing about is actually one long muscle, called the rectus abdominis. Any ab exercise will work the rectus abdominis. Secondly, doing crunches will not reduce your pot belly. It certainly will develop strength in your abdominal region; however, it is impossible to target an area of the body to lose fat. A combination of abdominal exercises, regular exercise and a well balanced diet will get you that flat stomach.
Myth No. 2: If I can’t workout often enough and hard enough, I might as well not even do it
Any exercise is better than no exercise, even if it’s only a 10-minute walk. Being physically active is proven to reduce stress and make you healthier. Studies show that a 10 – 30 minute walk three or more times a week significantly reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and boosts your energy and immune system. So, even if you can’t make it to the gym, you have no excuse not to do something active each day.
Myth No. 3: Dieting is the best way to lose fat
Wrong! More than 90 percent of all people who lose weight by dieting gain it back. Dieting is temporary deprivation. You may become lighter on the scales for that time you are dieting, but that weight loss is usually water and muscle. So once you go back to your regular eating habits, your body will store what you have been missing, making you the same weight or even heavier. Dieting is different from changing your eating habits such as opting to eat more fruits and vegetables and much less fat.
Myth No. 4: Heat makes injuries feel better, heal faster
Not true. Sports injuries – a sore knee, a twisted ankle, an aching elbow — hurt because of internal bleeding and swelling, very often caused by overuse. You want to use ice, not heat, to reduce pain and swelling. Always have a doctor check the injury so you can be sure you’re on the right track towards healing.
Myth No. 5: Women who lift weights will develop big, bulky muscles
Wrong again. Those big, bulky muscles we tend to associate with bodybuilders most often are the result of the male hormone, testosterone. Women don’t have enough of it to make their muscles massive…unless, of course, they inject themselves with testosterone. But for most women, strength training is a wonderful way to show healthy definition in a beautiful way.
Myth No. 6: Eating after 7pm will make you fat
Absolutely false! It all depends on whether or not the body needs that amount of calories at that time. Keep in mind your body is constantly burning calories, 24 hours per day, just the amount varies