10 fitness myths you should know.
Sydney based personal trainer Diana Martin busts some fitness myths
Pat Head Summitt
GABRIEL BIENCZYCKI/ZEBRA VISUAL
Sydney based personal trainer Diana Martin breaks down some myths for us and sorts the fact from fiction .
Myth 1: “I think diet alone is enough for sustained weight loss”
You’ll lose weight in the short term by reducing the number of calories, but exercising is what keeps kilos off for good.
Exercise burns calories and builds muscle, which will take up less space than fat. Muscle also requires more calories to sustain it than fat tissue does. In other words, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. In fact, over the long term, if you had a choice of eating consistently less or exercising consistently more, exercise would be the better weight-loss choice.
Myth 2: “I can spot-reduce fat from any part of my body”
It’s simple as this: If caloric expenditure is high enough, it will cause the reduction of fat from the entire body, including that from the area you want to target.
So ab exercises such as crunches can’t target stomach fat, to lose stomach fat you have to lose weight and fat from your entire body.
Myth 3: “I can skip meals to help me lose weight”
Those who think skipping meals leads to weight loss fail to recognise our bodies do not operate in this way. If you skip a meal your body will think you are starving and will slow down metabolism to compensate. And then there isa tendency to overeat at the next meal.
Thus, skipping a meal can result in a higher total caloric intake, than if you just ate more frequently throughout the day. You should eat frequently smaller healthy meals and snacks to keep your metabolism going and your blood sugar balanced.
Myth 4: “I don't need to "feel the burn" to get fitter”
There has to be an element of progression in a workout regimen. The body and its muscles respond to the overloading principle, and there comes a time when you will need to extend the duration or intensity of your exercise to get fitter.
Myth 5: “If I lift weights I’ll get too bulky”
Lifting weights is by far the best way to lose body fat,increase muscle tone and live a much more active lifestyle.
This myth is common because women worry that lifting heavy weights will bulk them up. However, women cannot achieve extraordinary muscle growth just by lifting weights. Women’s testosterone is lower than men, and they might not be able to lift as much weight, but if resistance is too low it won’t lead to any changes in muscle mass.
Here are 5 good reasons why everyone, and YES even women,need to lift weights – and not just weights, but heavy weights.
- Lose More Body Fat
- Increase Lean Muscle Mass
- Increase Bone Density
- Reduce Repetitive Stress Injuries
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Myth 6: “The more I sweat, the more fat I lose”
Sweating is your body’s cooling system has nothing to do with intensity. Fat is oxidised inside your body, and it is not going to disappear because you’re sweating! It’s possible to burn a good number of calories without breaking a sweat: Try taking the dog for a nice long walk around the park.
Myth 7: “If I drink a lot of water it will help me to lose weight”
You might have heard that drinking lots of water flushes toxins from your body can improve your skin and will make you less hungry. The fact is no hard the evidence for such health benefits.
Dehydration is your body's enemy. It slows bodily functions and metabolism. Your metabolism will slow to conserve energy when you haven't had enough water to drink, as your organs can't and won't function as efficiently. It also makes your skin look dryer and wrinkled, but this can all be easily improved by proper hydration, only not necessarily with tons of water.
Drinking excessive amounts will only fill you up and keep you from overeating, it might make you feel less hungry but it doesn’t mean it will help you to lose weight. It can also lead to loss of sleep, and studies show it can even cause kidney damage, instead of preventing it.
You should drink only when you feel thirsty, just to replace the amount of water a healthy adult loses every day. It could be four to eight glasses or more.
Myth 8: “The more calories I cut, the more weight I’ll lose”
Cut your calories too far, below 1200 per day and you are likely to be nutritionally deficient, which can quickly decrease your metabolism and muscle mass. Because so little food is being taken in, it becomes very difficult for the body to obtain the sufficient amounts of essential vitamins and minerals it needs for the daily function of organs and cells.
To get the most out of the calories you do eat, you should choose foods such as fresh produce, meat and fish, and whole grains which are as close to their natural state as possible. They have a higher “nutrient density” than refined foods, because they pack more vitamins and minerals into fewer calories.
And always look for professional help before starting any diet to make sure it is a suitable and healthy option for you.
Myth 9: “I should always stretch before exercising”
Stretching is something many people do just because they feel they should or because someone told them to. Stretching elongates the muscle and helps prevent injury. Conversely, studies say that stretching before a workout will weaken the muscle by 30%, and that the reduced tension may increase the risk of injury.
So, the steps are: a good warm up by walking before intense cardio, or lifting light weights before intense weight training, and stretchingAFTER the workout.
When you work out, lactic acid builds up in your muscles. This often leads to muscle soreness and fatigue. After a workout your muscles are warm and benefit from increased blood circulation, stretching after a workout will help muscles to recover faster, reduce muscle fatigue, and muscle soreness – one of the reasons many people skip exercising. But, if you do stretch after exercising it is likely that you will proceed with your next workout and prevent future injury.
Myth 10: “It don’t need to use a sports bra to exercise, bras look much better and have the same effect.”
Typical discussion the ladies have at the gym. The fact is: Wrong! Sports bras are design to prevent painful bounce and permanent breast sag. It doesn’t just come with gravity and old age; high-impact activities, like jogging or aerobics, can stress the connective tissue that keeps breasts firm, causing your breasts to sag more quickly.
Hot tip girls: Compression sports bras work best for smaller-busted women but typically a C cup or larger should opt for an encapsulation sports bra that supports each breast separately. Make sure you also replace them at least every six month.