Myths About Exercises

Every year, millions of Americans resolve to lose weight, whether on New Year’s Day, their birthdays, or just some morning when their mirror or the bathroom scale seems particularly unkind. And every year, many get frustrated and give up before they reach their goals. Contributing to this problem is a host of bad information about diet and exercise that circulates through gyms, workplaces, and the Internet. If you've been exercising for a while, you've probably come across tons of information about exercise and fitness. You've heard the phrase 'no pain, no gain' and you've probably tried to tighten up your abs with crunches. While many fitness myths are fading fast, there are still plenty of misconceptions running around and you may be following one without knowing it. 


Exercise Myths 


Crunches will Get Rid of Your Fat Belly


You can’t pick and choose areas where you’d like to burn fat,” Tyne says. “In order to burn fat, you should create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength training elements. This will decrease your overall body fat content. 


Stretching Before Exercise is Crucial 


Some studies have suggested that stretching actually makes muscles more susceptible to injury. They claim that by stretching, muscle fibers are lengthened and destabilized, making them less prepared for the strain of exercise. You might want to warm-up and stretch before a run, but if you are lifting weights wait until after the workout to stretch your muscles.  


You Should Never Eat Before a Workout 


"Fuel" from food and fluids is required to provide the energy for your muscles to work efficiently, even if you are doing an early morning workout. Consider eating a small meal or snack one to three hours prior to exercise. Load up your tank with premium ‘fuel’ and choose some fruit, yogurt, or whole wheat toast.  


Lifting Weights Will Make Women Bulky 


Most women’s bodies do not produce nearly enough testosterone to become ‘bulky’ like those body builders on TV. If you do find yourself getting bigger than you would like, simply use less weight and more repetitions.  


Fat is Bad for You no Matter what Kind 


Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of “good fats” out there that are essential for good health and aid in disease prevention. They are the ones that occur naturally in foods like avocados, nuts, and fish, as opposed to those that are manufactured. Including small amounts of these foods at meal times can help you to feel full longer and therefore eat less.  


Restricting Calories is the Best Way to Lose Weight 


Both cutting back on calories and moving more will help you lose weight and maintain the lean muscle mass needed to boost metabolism. People often believe the diet and exercise myth that they must take drastic measures to lose weight, such as eating less than 1200 calories per day, but such diets usually do not provide adequate fuel for the body and may slow metabolism. Drastic measures rarely equal lasting results, so start small and eliminate 100-300 calories consistently from your daily diet, and you will reap the reward.  


As Long As You Eat Healthy Food, You Can Eat as Much as You Want 


A calorie is a calorie. Although oatmeal is healthy, if you eat four cups of oatmeal, the calories add up. Healthy or otherwise, you still must be aware of portion sizes. You must limit your caloric intake in order to lose weight, however, understanding how to ‘balance’ calorie intake throughout your day can help you avoid feelings of deprivation, hunger and despair.  


Exercise Turns Fat into Muscles 


Fat and muscle tissue are composed of two entirely different types of cells. While you can lose one and replace it with another, the two never “convert” into different forms. So fat will never turn into muscle.  


Eating Late at Night Will Help You in Gaining Weight 


We associate late-night eating with weight gain because we usually consume more calories at night. We do this because we usually deprive our bodies of adequate calories the first half of the day. Start the day out with breakfast and eat every 3-4 hours. Keep lunch the same size as dinner, and you will be less likely to over-indulge at night, yet you can enjoy a small late-night snack without the fear of it sticking to your middle.  


You Have to Sweat to Have a Good Workout 


Sweating is not necessarily an indicator of exertion—sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself. It is possible to burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat: try taking a walk, or doing some light weight training, or working out in a swimming pool.

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