Wow! there are many fitness myths out there, and they are relentless.
Do you believe that hundreds of sit-ups will give you that sculpted six-pack? That fat turns into muscle from weightlifting? Or, supplements can make you slim and trim with no extra effort on your part? When you see magazine headlines that shout, “lose 20 pounds in one week!” Do you feel yourself tensing with excitement like it was the second coming? These myths and many others bombard us at every turn.
Let’s examine 10 of the most prevalent myths about fitness and clear things up a bit.
1. Lifting weights turns fat into muscle.
when exercising in an effort to build muscle and reduce fat, you’re actually burning the fat, not converting it to muscle. Fat is an energy source for the body. the body builds muscle from the protein you consume. When exercising, the body burns stored up fat for the energy it needs. It’s when you are at risk that your body goes about building ( or rebuilding) muscle in proportion to the amount of protein you consume. It takes about 1 to 1 1/2 g of protein to build a pound of muscle. So to reiterate, fat doesn’t turn to muscle, protein builds muscle.
2. Fat burning can be targeted.
If only it were so. Trying to reduce belly fat can certainly be accomplished. However, targeting belly fat or fat in any other part of the body is a myth. You reduce fat in your body by incorporating a regular fitness program with a healthy diet. Your body starts to burn fat when all the calories you consume have been expended. But the body burns the fat from where ever it chooses, not where you want it to. As a general rule of thumb, your body will usually utilize fat from the last place it was stored. With that said, the hours of sit-ups won’t reveal that six-pack. But, a proper fitness plan and healthy eating will uncover, through fat reduction, the toned muscle underneath.
3. You can eat anything if you exercise.
your metabolism regulates how many calories your body burns when you exercise and when you are resting. Thus, if you take in more calories than you use, it doesn’t matter how much exercising you do, your body will store the excess calories as fat. Get to know your metabolism. eat as much as your body can consume. if your plan is to burn excess fat, eat fewer calories.
4. Free weights are more dangerous than machines.
both machine weights and free weights can harm you. Machine weights are more restrictive. You can only do so many adjustments in order for the machine to fit your body. Free weights really challenge your form and discipline. So in the scheme of things, they pretty much even out. When using machine or free weights, make sure your form is correct and you should be fine.
5. Weight lifting makes women look manly.
weightlifting tones muscles. To really bulk up requires more exertion than most women will do when lifting weights. Another factor prohibiting women from creating big muscles is the lack of enough testosterone. Exercising with weights is a good method for women to add to a fitness regimen because toned muscles require more energy. More energy expended means more fat burned, less fat stored.
6. You’re getting fat when you see numbers on the scale increasing.
not necessarily. Muscle is denser than fat. As you exercise, you build muscle. Denser muscles take up less space than fat but will weigh more. Continue your fitness program and proper eating and you will lose the fat. Don’t worry about the scale.
7. A treadmill is easier on the joints than regular running.
it depends on the treadmill. Most treadmills found in the gym do not have joint protecting, shock absorbing features. These are usually only available in higher end machines.
8. Sweating is a necessary part of hard work.
just because you’re not sweating doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Your heart rate is the best measure of how much you are exerting the body. Sweating and heart rate are two different things. Sweating is the body’s way of regulating temperature.
9. Stretching prior to a workout helps you perform better.
most people already have a full range of motion. Studies have shown that loose tendons make muscles work with less force. This would make your workouts less effective. There is even a possibility of an injury if you just began stretching before a workout. It is preferable to stretch after a workout as this will increase blood flow to your muscles and begin the rebuilding process quicker.
10. Average aerobic intensity is all that’s needed to put you at the fat burning level.
no matter what amount of work you do you will burn fat. Of course the more intense the work, the more fat you will burn. To get to the anaerobic level takes stamina. Stamina is built up over time. Increase your aerobic levels progressively. The old saying crawl before you can walk is how you should approach increasing your levels of aerobic intensity.