The right mix of diet and exercise can make you healthy and fit, but false information can hinder your fitness goals! Do some of these common myths sound familiar?
“If I exercise, I can eat whatever I want.”
It is true that exercise will usually allow you to eat more calories without gaining weight, but it is still important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. If you only eat fast food but work out consistently, you will not be getting the most from your workouts. Eating the right mix of foods and watching caloric intake is the ONLY way to successfully be in the best shape.
“If one hour of exercise a day is good, then three hours is even better.”
Overtraining can actually be detrimental to your overall physical fitness. In fact, working out for too long can damage your muscles and make it harder to meet your goals. Ever heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder?” That applies to exercise, too!
“No Pain, No Gain.”
It is normal to be slightly sore after working out, but you shouldn’t be in extreme pain every time you exercise. If you notice that you are always hurting the next day, then you are probably overdoing it, not sufficiently warming up before exercise, or not allowing your body enough recovery time between workouts.
“I just don’t have the time to fully devote myself to a fitness regimen, so why bother?”
This is one of the most common excuses for not working out, and it couldn’t be further from the truth! Even a little bit of physical activity is better than none at all. Just do what you can, when you can – and you will be in much better shape than you if you do nothing.
“Since I am a female, I can’t lift weights because I will get too big.”
Strength training is an essential part of complete fitness, and doing a mix of cardio and strength training is necessary for a successful workout routine. While weight lifting CAN create stronger muscles, hormones play an important role in muscle size. Testosterone is what creates muscle bulk, so without the addition of more testosterone (i.e. illegal steroids), most women have nothing to worry about.
“I only have a couple of trouble spots, so I only need to concentrate on working those areas.”
We really cannot choose how our body reacts to exercise, and the only way to benefit from working out is to work all parts of the body. For example, many people want to only work on the abs, but building those muscles will not create a perfectly flat stomach. Adding in enough cardio is necessary to burn the fat that lies over the muscles.
“My parents are overweight, so I shouldn’t even bother with exercise.”
Body size IS genetic – to a degree. However, in most cases obesity is caused by overeating and lack of physical exercise. Having a family that is overweight does not determine your weight and level of fitness; but the way you take care of yourself makes all the difference.
Don’t let these fitness fabrications discourage you in your quest to be in shape. Separating the truth from the myths can put you on the right track!