Exercise is supposed to be really good for you, but some people have mistaken ideas about what it can – and can’t – do. Here is a list of some common exercise myths and the facts associated with them.
No matter how much work science does to keep the facts clear, myths persist. Whether you’re talking about exercise, nutrition, education, common knowledge, or a myriad of other subjects, myths persist – and it’s time to debunk a few of them. This article will cover ten common exercise myths and explain why each one is wrong, wrong, wrong. Pay close attention before you hit the gym, as failing to exercise properly can do the opposite of what a myth might claim.
Exercise Turns Fat Into Muscle
This myth is likely the child of gym slogans. Fat and muscle are two very different tissues that coexist in the human body. Fat is a transient substance burned up by the body to fuel the activities of the muscles. Exercising does not transform fat into muscle; it simply burns off the calories to power the muscles. Vigorously pumping iron, therefore, won’t necessarily get rid of fatty tissue in your body.
Fat is Bad
There’s incredible pressure to lose weight by burning off every ounce of fat in your body. This is a foolish idea, as fat is stored by the body for a reason: long-term sustainability. The body needs calories to burn if it’s to function properly. That said, there are ‘good’ fats as well as ‘bad’ fats, and you typically want to ingest and maintain the good ones.
No Pain, No Gain
This is an old adage that contains only a grain of truth. Yes, exercise is tiresome, and yes, newcomers to exercise regimes will probably experience some leg cramps and muscle soreness during the first few workouts. But your body eventually acclimates to working out, and rather than pain, your muscles should feel fatigued. If you come out of each workout feeling as though you’ve gone three rounds with a boxer, you’re doing something wrong.
Exercise Requires a Huge Time Commitment
This is mainly an excuse used by people who don’t want to exercise. True, working out does require a time commitment, but it’s hardly massive. A healthy workout regime can consist of little more than moderate-to-heavy exercise for twenty to thirty minutes three or four times a week. You can easily work that time into the majority of lifestyles as long as you have the willpower to make it happen.
Proper Exercise Requires a Gym
When was the last time you saw somebody jogging down the street? Probably earlier today. Physical fitness does not require a gym. Gyms merely provide obvious ways to exercise. With some ingenuity and clever thinking, you can turn everyday tasks, such as shopping or cleaning, into worthy workouts.
You Must Warm Up Before Exercising
There’s a difference between ‘warming up’ and ‘stretching.’ Warming up, the act of lightly exercising your body to prepare your heart and limbs for a longer burn is essential to a healthy exercise session. Stretching, the act of pushing your limbs and tendons into irregular positions, is not. Static stretching can have a detrimental effect on your exercise if you do too much of it, according to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, and even short bursts don’t seem to aid a workout.
More Reps, Low Weight
Performing hundreds of reps with a single, lightweight is not a good way to lose weight, contrary to popular belief. It is ideal to work out your entire body at the same time, utilizing as many muscle groups as possible to burn fat. Not only will you reach your goal faster, but you’ll probably be in better overall shape than somebody who concentrated all their time on one or two isolated exercises.
Alternate Exercise Days to Give Your Muscles a Break
Cardio one day, weight lifting the next. Sounds like an okay idea, and scientifically it has a solid basis, as muscles need time to repair themselves after hard use. Practically speaking, however, this is still a myth. The average workout is not nearly extensive or rigorous enough to tear muscles to any great extent, so there’s no reason why you can’t pump iron three or four days in a row.
Supplements are Necessary for Weightlifting
Protein shakes, energy bars, high-calorie drinks, all these things are touted as ‘essential’ to a good workout by the companies that sell them to the general public. In reality, everyday joggers and weightlifters who want to stay toned won’t need these extreme extras. A normal, healthy diet will provide everything the body needs to work out – all you need is stamina and a bottle of water.
Don’t Eat Before Exercising
Yes, it’s probably a bad idea to have a full eggs-and-toast-and-bacon-and-orange-juice meal minutes before going out for a jog, but in general, food is not a detriment to working out. On the contrary, your body needs extra carbs to burn to generate the energy necessary for sustained exercise. If the first thing you do in the morning is work out, you’re going to be running on fumes rather than a full tank of gas.
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