Many strive to live a healthy and fit lifestyle. There is a plethora of fitness advice available, but can you really believe all you hear or read? Here are the biggest fitness myths that you need to know now!
If you aren't dripping in sweat, you haven't worked hard enough.
Now we aren't saying you should look red carpet ready when you get done with your workout, but experts say a workout's effectiveness can't be measured by how much you have sweat.
Women shouldn't lift weights because it will make you bulky.
Lifting weights is a very important part of strengthening and toning the body. Experts even say it would be extremely difficult for a woman to bulk up with weight lifting alone, because of the high levels of estrogen in their system.
You need 8 cups of water a day.
Water is vital to life. You need water to live and be healthy, but you don't need to force yourself to keep downing water. Experts say just make sure to drink water anytime you feel thirsty and you will stay perfectly hydrated.
Lots of crunches and sit-ups will burn all of that stubborn belly fat.
These types of exercises are great for strengthening your abdominal muscles, but it doesn't get rid of fat. No matter how strong your muscles are they will still be hidden, unless you burn the fat on top of them.
Swimming is a great weight loss exercise.
You would have to swim laps for hours a day to see any weight loss advantages. But experts say swimming is still a great way to tone muscles and alleviate stress.
No pain, no gain.
Many believe you need to "feel the burn" to see results. Unfortunately, most pain felt during workouts means you have injured some part of your body. Never try to work through extreme pain without checking for injury.
If it says fat-free, it is diet friendly.
On the contrary, fat-free usually means taste-free. So, companies add in lots of other stuff, like flour, salt or other ingredients that rack up the calories. Instead of looking for fat-free foods, experts say look for the "good fats," such as monounsaturated fats.
Eating light or skipping meals will help you lose weight.
Skipping meals will actually do the opposite of helping you lose weight. Your body will hold on to the fat in response to not getting enough nutrition. In fact, you will have better results if you eat throughout the day. Your body will respond better to your workouts with the proper nutrition.
A good workout means a long, hardcore workout.
A short workout can be just as effective as long one. In fact, doing high intensity cardio for thirty minutes can actually burn more calories then walking on a treadmill for an hour or two. It is all about what kind of exercise you are doing, not how long you do it for.
Squats are bad for your knees.
Squats are actually GOOD for your knees, if done properly. When you squat make sure your knee never sticks out further than your toes. Squat until you thighs are parallel with the ground. Stay on your heels. Not only will this help your knees stay fit, but it also helps sculpt buns of steel!
Stretch before working out to prevent injury.
Experts have discovered stretching before your muscles are properly warmed up could do more harm than good. Ditch the pre-workout stretch and start your workout with a brisk walk or run to get warmed up. If you must stretch, do it once your heart rate is up.
Losing weight means getting in shape.
Just because you are losing weight doesn't mean you are getting into shape. It may be satisfying to see the numbers on the scale shrink, but it doesn't mean your body is getting fitter. Experts say getting in shape means workouts are getting easier and your body is able to perform at a higher level. If you are seeing improvements at the gym, then you know you getting fit.
"Carb-load" before hardcore workouts.
Many people believe downing a giant bowl of spaghetti is the best way to store energy for a lengthy training sessions, however this isn't true. Carbohydrates can lead to fat being stored, not being burned. In fact, carbs can also make you sleepy (ever had an after lunch slump?). The best pre-workout meal is lean protein, such as turkey or lean beef.
More weight equals more results.
It's all about quality over quantity. Using less weight and more repetitions will bring better results then tons of weight and only a few repetitions. You can always progressively add weight as your workout seems to get easier.
Gaining weight is a bad thing.
If you have started working out and you notice the scale is going up, don't panic. Just because you may have gained weight, didn't mean you have gained fat. Muscle weighs more than fat. As you tone your body, you will be building muscle.
Keep track of your weight everyday.
When getting into shape, ignore the scale. It's OK to weigh yourself every week, or even month, but the scale can fool you. Instead, use a measuring tape to measure your hips, waist, bust, legs and arms to monitor your weight loss. You could be losing inches and fat, but still be gaining weight because of muscle building. So do yourself a favor and throw out the scale.
If you don't see results soon, you are doing it wrong.
Seeing results will take time. You won't see a difference overnight, you may not even see a difference for a week or two, or even three! Don't get anger or discouraged. Your body is still improving. Shows, such as The Biggest Loser, can be misleading. It shows people seeing drastic results very quickly. You must remember that these contestants are working out for hours a day with a coach following them around 24/7.
If you can't intensely exercise everyday, then just give up.
Any exercise is better than none. 30 minutes of moderate activity can have positive impacts on the body. So even if you can't devote hours and days to a fitness regime, get moving as much as you can. Any bit will help!
Doing certain exercises will target only certain areas.
Now, it is true that certain exercises help certain areas, but it is impossible to target and isolate one part of the body to tone, without affecting other parts. Some people may have a goal of losing thigh fat first, and realize that their face is the first to look thinner. Everyone loses weight at different places at different times.
You need a gym membership.
Having access to a gym and proper equipment does make a fitness regime easier to follow, but it isn't absolutely necessary. There are plenty of effective exercises and regimes that can be implemented at home using everyday items, such as substituting a gallon of water as a kettle bell.