People are constantly on a mission to lose weight and get healthier. Usually, their diet or exercise plans don’t last long. Being in better shape helps people lower cholesterol, improve sleep, and live longer. But, there are many myths out there about exercise and diet that seem to trip people up and keep them from achieving their goals. Keep reading to discover five common myths about getting into shape.
- Women need different exercises than men.
Ask any personal trainer and you’ll learn that this is a myth. Men’s and women’s bodies have the same body structure but different hormonal make-ups. While they do have a difference in muscle strength, they should not work out differently. Men often want to change their abs, arms, and chest, and women want to change their legs and gluts. In reality, both should be focusing on the entire body.
Women’s testosterone is lower, so they usually won’t be able to lift weights as heavy as men. However, using a weight that is too small will not have the resistance to change in muscle. Everyone should use a weight that is challenging and do six to eight repetitions.
- Shakes will make up for bad eating habits.
Most of what people look like are because of their diet. Weight loss is about losing calories, and many people overestimate the number of calories they burn while exercising. They end up eating more calories than they’ve burned, thus negating the weight loss. It can be helpful to sit down, count calories, and figure out how many calories are being burned and how much can be eaten.
Weight loss shakes probably won’t work either. They often are a mix of inexpensive protein powders, some subpar vitamins, sugars, and dyes. They won’t keep anyone full. Whole foods have more fibre and make the stomach feel full for longer. Whole foods also require the stomach to digest more, which uses more energy and keeps the metabolism higher.
- Muscles can just be toned.
Women will often say that they want to tone their muscles. This is a myth. If muscles weren’t already toned, people would not be able to move. The muscles just cannot be seen because there are layers of fat on top of them. These fat layers must be lost to see the toned muscles. Personal trainers advise fixing the diet first and then addressing target areas with specific exercises.
- Stretch before exercising.
For some reason, people think they need to stretch before they exercise. Stretching before a workout will weaken muscles, which may raise the risk of injury. It can be important to warm up with some walking before running or using an elliptical or to lift a few light weights before lifting heavy ones. Otherwise, do the stretching after a workout.
- Fat can be reduced in one area.
No. A layer of fat is covering all of the toned muscles in a body. A person with a lot of body fat cannot have flat abdominal muscles like someone with very little body fat. Doing hundreds of crunches will not fix the problem. Doing intense exercises, like squats, push-ups, pull-downs, and shoulder presses, and sticking to a strict diet is the only way to take the fat off.
Weight loss and physical fitness are possible. Know your body, and know the myths that you should ignore.