Everybody is an expert when it comes to health and fitness. You are bound to get some “expert tips” no matter who are you talking to. People believe what they want to believe but it’s important to check for references whenever you are about to act upon some fitness advice.
You don’t want to waste your time on a routine or technique that will not give the desired results. Even worse, it will result in more damages than benefits.
Let’s read about five common myths about exercise and fitness that you need to ignore.
Myth 1: The more you work out the better
It is true that you need to exert and push yourself in the gym but it doesn’t mean you can keep pushing yourself beyond limits. The myth is so popular that people judge the effectiveness of a training session by post-workout pain and soreness. It is good if your muscles are hurting after the workout but more and more pain doesn’t necessarily mean more and more gains. In fact, it can be the opposite where you are getting all the pain but absolutely no gain.
Your body needs time to recover. It is true for both, the cardio and the resisting training exercises.
You cannot lift weights 7 days a week. You cannot aim to run 5k or 10k on your first day of running. The improvement needs to be gradual. Going too hard can result in injuries because your muscles are not getting enough time to rest and reconstruct.
Experts suggest that your muscles need around 48 – 72 hours to recover. That doesn’t mean you should go to the gym just once or twice a week but it is important to target different muscle groups. This way, each group will get at least 3 – 4 days to recover from the previous workout.
Similarly, if you are doing the cardio, you need to have the rest days. Plus, you shouldn’t keep adding miles after miles to your running distance.
Myth 2: Running is bad for knees
Running is extremely good for your health. It can help you keep major health problems like heart disease, cancer, or diabetes at bay. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and BMI. And it can improve your mental health by dealing with the depression or lack of energy. You do not need any equipment (except maybe the running shoes) or a gym membership.
Does that sound too good to be true? Here comes the bad part.
Many people do not get into a daily running routine because they think it will have a negative impact on their knees. But there’s enough research to refute this myth. Take this study of a group of 100k people as an example. Scientists found that those who were regularly running were half as likely to develop osteoarthritis compared to someone who is not. It means that running does not really damage the cartilage or connecting tissues more than walking.
This is not to say that running is totally safe. It is indeed a high-impact exercise but you will definitely get more benefits than drawback as long as you are doing it in moderation.
Myth 3: Targeted fat loss:
You can target and build specific muscles when you are working out but you cannot target specific areas for fat loss. It is the body that decides to use fat from specific areas. So, you cannot lose fat from thighs or arms by focusing entirely on specific muscle groups. It is better to do full body workout and you will eventually lose excess fat from all parts of your body.
It is a good thing that spot reduction is not possible because you shouldn’t really be working out to lose fat from a specific part of your body. Exercise is not just about getting that model-like physique or good looks. It is about opting for a healthy lifestyle that will give you a lot more than good physical appearance. For example, your metabolic rate improves for more than 14 hours after just 45 minutes of exercise. These are the kind of benefits that you should be looking for.
Myth 4: You need mental exercise to get mentally strong:
The best thing about physical exercise is that it will improve your health, both physically and mentally. Several studies have shown that exercise results in more grey matter, which improves brain memorizing and learning capacity. Research has shown that exercise boosts creativity.It also helps you fight with negative thoughts or depression.
Physical activity results in raised heart rate and better flow of blood. It will benefit each and every part of your body and that includes the brain. At times, it can be as good as antidepressants. This is why people perform better at workplace or studies when they are more physically active.
Myth 5: Bodybuilding is for teenagers:
Many people still believe that gym or weight training is for teenagers. It’s true that you will get much better and quicker results, as far as muscle growth is concerned, when you are 20 – 30 years old. But it doesn’t mean you will get no benefits once you have passed that age.
There’s no right or wrong age to start going to the gym. In fact, it is your fitness agethat actually matters and not just how old are you. You can be 45 years old and have the fitness and physique of the 30 years old, given that you have been living a healthy lifestyle.
You can start even if you are 40 or 50 years old. Consult with your physician and work with some qualified trainer to be on the safe side. You might need more rest time to recover and rebuild because your testosterone levels are dropping, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start.
So, there you have it. These are five common fitness myths that you need to ignore. Are you guilty of believing in any of these? Can you think of any other myth that is proven wrong? Let us know in the comments.