There are a host of exercise and fitness myths floating around. This is largely due to flashy commercial ads trying to sell the next revolutionary item. We as consumers often take the bait as fact without stopping to verify if the claim is true or not. Let’s take a look at five of the most common exercise myths and expose them for what they are: myths.
Exercise Myth #1: Exercise allows you to eat everything you want
Wouldn’t that be nice?! However, a proper diet is essential for good health. Although it is a good practice to reward yourself with one of your favorite treats once in awhile, maintaining an intake of high quality nutritional foods will help keep you looking and feeling great.
A nutritious diet will supply the fuel and building blocks your body needs to continue those workouts and sculpt your physique.
Exercise Myth #2: More fat is lost by morning cardio exercise on an empty stomach
Many people make such an early morning sacrifice based on this myth. The thinking is “get up and exercise so that nagging belly fat will melt away before breakfast”. However, this sacrifice to burn calories is not necessary and is not based on scientific evidence. Your body needs some form of food to provide it with the necessary energy to accomplish an aerobic workout, especially after going through the night without eating. You have more of a chance to lose body fat if you practice aerobic exercises according to your lifestyle, whether it is morning, noon or night. If morning is your favorite time to workout then eat some fruit or drink a fruit smoothie. Not eating anything can cause you to grow dizzy or pass out, which could lead to injury.
Exercise Myth #3: More exercise is better
Common thinking goes, “If I get slim and trim and lean and mean by doing a little exercise then more exercise has to be better!” Unfortunately, this is another fitness myth. Muscle isn’t created in the gym, but during our rest periods when nutrients are gathered for repair work. This is why a nutritious diet coupled with adequate periods of rest are stressed in proper exercise programs. Too much exercise can lead to fatigue and even muscle, tendon and ligament damage.
Exercise Myth #4: Lifting weights makes women more muscular
A large number of women shy away from any form of weight training because they believe it will cause them to look like the female bodybuilders they see in competitions. The fact is, it takes a great deal of weight training and gorging masses of calories and supplements for a woman to bulk up to that degree. The driving factor in weight gain is the hormone testosterone and women don’t produce much of it. Therefore, women have to work much harder than men to bulk up. In actuality, muscle is key in burning fat because of its high rate of metabolic activity. Therefore, weight training should be used to keep that slim, healthy figure.
Exercise Myth #5: Low intensity exercise burns more fat
This one is true to a point. More calories are burned during exercises carried out at lower intensity. However, those calories are connected to fat and not carbohydrates which are stored by the body for more aggressive exertion. High intensity exercise burns more total calories, which results in more fat elimination. Also, after the high intensity workouts are finished, the body continues to burn calories due to an elevated metabolism, which is not the case with low intensity exercise.