There are many myths out there about exercise and nutrition, and we wish they would just go away! Sadly, it seems that they are here to stay – for now at least – so we are de-bunking the top exercise myths and sharing the truth behind them. And stay tuned, as we will be sharing the top nutrition myths soon!
1.) You should stretch before a workout
You never want to jump right into a workout cold, but static stretching is not the best thing to start off your workout. Rather, a dynamic warm-up is where it is at! Doing arm swings, marching or jogging in place, some lunges and arm circles are all great dynamic movements that will help your body to warm up before a workout. Save the static stretches for after your workout.
2.) Sweating means you are burning more calories and losing more weight
Sweating is not an indicator of how much you are burning. In fact, you can still be working very hard and burn calories, but not happen to sweat. Sweating is actually your body’s way of regulating its temperature and cooling your body down.
3.) More is better
No, no it is not. You can work out for hours and every single day and not see the results you expect. Your body can be overtrained and overstressed. When you work out, you are applying stress to your muscles, so they need time to recover. Additionally, working out longer can result in you simply burning out. Rather, focus on getting in effective workouts, like some of these HIIT routines, and then schedule in active rest and more low impact workouts. Additionally, remember that nutrition plays a big role, so as long as you keep eating well, you will not have to work out for hours on end.
Now, you may know that we ourselves do something active every single day. However, we do not work out for hours at a time, and what we do every day is not always intense. Some days we simply go for a long walk or do some gentle yoga so that we are moving.
4.) Lifting weights will cause you to bulk up
Lifting weights will not turn you into the Incredible Hulk, so do not worry! If that is your goal, then not only would you have to lift heavy and follow a strict regimen, but you’d also have a very specific diet and supplementation plan that you would be following.
Yes, lifting weight will help you to build muscle mass, but it will also help you to decrease body fat. And if you are a female, you do not have as much testosterone as men, which helps them to build muscle faster.
5.) No pain, no gain… really?
No, you do not need to feel pain in order to have a gain! First of all, feeling actual pain is not a good thing when working out. Now, do you want to challenge yourself? Absolutely! If sets are tiring and hard and maybe you shake a little, that is okay – that is you simply challenging your body. However, just because you do not feel sore afterward does not mean that what you did at the gym was not beneficial. And if you do feel sore, that is also not necessarily an indicator of a great workout, but rather, it shows that you simply applied more stress to an area of the body.
Remember, it is not about killing yourself at the gym and working out for hours on end. It is about working out in an efficient and effective manner that will really make the difference.
6.) Because you exercised, you earned a “cheat” meal
This is one thing that needs to just go away. The word “cheat” implies you are doing something wrong, and you cannot out-exercise a bad meal. If you eat poorly, regardless of how you are working out, it will delay or prevent your progress. Healthy living is a full circle of exercise, eating well, and taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally. If you do not think of it is as a healthy living lifestyle, then it will be hard for you to see the full results and to have them last. However, if you want to go out and enjoy a dessert or a drink, then just do it. No, this should not be a habit, but remove the word “cheat” from your vocabulary and think of it as just you enjoying your life. That way, you will not get hung up the next day at the gym, thinking you need to workout extra to burn off the meal you had.