With the countless fitness magazines, all of the websites on health and fitness, and the constant influx of research being done on the subject of the human body and all it entails, it can become really difficult to figure out what to believe. There are always contradictory accounts of what to do to lose weight, when to work out, how to work out, etc. Not only do different sources have completely different messages, it can be hard to know which are based on fact and which are twisted to sell things to us. Hopefully this article will help clear a few myths up and help you straighten out your workouts.
Myth No. 1
The biggest exercise myth out there is that you can use specific exercises to target fat burn and just lose fat from certain parts of your body. As much as it would be great to be able to do crunches until you have abs on show and a flat stomach, there is only one way to lose weight and build muscle tone: work in cardio with your core exercises and strength. Plus, as the saying goes “abs are made in the kitchen.”
Myth No. 2
Women are often scared that lifting weights will bulk them up and leave their physiques resembling those of men. This is definitely not true. Lifting weights burns a lot of calories and by doing the right free-weight exercises with correct form you will be able to work the majority of your muscles in one workout. Women just do not have high enough levels of testosterone to bulk up dramatically without severe training and very careful nutrition plans.
Myth No. 3
There are so many fitness books out there which are either aimed at men or women which suggest that the two sexes should be doing completely different exercises. This just isn’t true, men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. We’re actually built pretty similarly, the balance is just different and our hormones work in a different way.
Myth No. 4
Experts are often stressing the importance of stretching both before and after exercise. Whilst stretching after working out is crucial, before your workout you don’t need to stretch, in fact it could potentially weaken your muscles and actually increase the chance of injury. Instead of stretching pre-workout do a simple warm-up session of light cardio or weights for 5 minutes and then stretch at the end.
Figuring out what kind of workout works for you can be complicated. It’s about trying different things until you find what you are comfortable with and enjoy doing. At the end of the day the important thing is that you are seeing results. Stay informed on the topic but avoid getting too caught up in what the media is saying. As long as you’re happy and safe with your fitness routine then that’s what counts.