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Fitness Myths – Debunked!

We all love fitness advice. You hear a tip from a friend and pass it on to the next friend. Or, your kid’s coach gives you advice, and sure enough you hear the same thing from several other parents. So you figure it must be true. However, in the fitness world, myths and half-truths abound! Unfortunately,  some of these tips may be hindering your workouts!

One reason for myths getting started is that we all react to exercise a little differently. So one person’s experience may not mirror another’s. In some respects, you may have to find your own exercise truths.  That said, there are also some fitness myths that just need busting!
Myth #1

“I shouldn’t over exert myself with tough workouts.” I would hope you all know that this isn’t true. What have we been saying all along??? Experts are raving about the benefits of short, high-intensity routines (like intervals, where you alternate between going hard for 30 seconds to a minute and recovering at an easier level) for women of all ages. And it works with any type of cardio—biking, walking, running on the elliptical, rowing, and more. So nix the fitness myth and aim to add high-intensity intervals to your routine 3 times a week. We recommend boot camp and small group training!!!! Continually challenging your body is the best way to see results. Tough workouts are a must.

Myth #2

“Even strength training won’t help my flagging metabolism.” While hormonal changes do contribute to a slower metabolism, a regular strength training regimen (2 or 3 times a week) will definitely help counteract the pound creep. Just keep challenging yourself with new moves, more resistance, and/or different types of lifting. Strength training is a great way to keep your metabolism revved up.

Myth #3
“I’m more prone to injury if I exercise than if I don’t.” Actually, you have a greater chance of getting hurt if you’re inactive. The more you sit in front of a computer or desk without strengthening or stretching your muscles, the more likely you are to suffer a muscle sprain, strain, tear, or worse. Bottom line: Keep moving to avoid injury.

Myth #4

Running on a treadmill puts less stress on your knees than running on asphalt or pavement. Running is a great workout, but it can impact the knees — and since it’s the force of your body weight on your joints that causes the stress, it’s the same whether you’re on a treadmill or on asphalt. The best way to reduce knee impact, is to vary your workout.

Myth #5
Doing crunches or working on an “ab machine” will get rid of belly fat.
Don’t believe everything you hear on those late-night infomercials! So, while an ab-crunching device might help strengthen the muscles around your midsection and improve your posture, being able to “see” your abdominal muscles has to do with your overall percentage of body fat.  If you don’t lose the belly fat, you won’t see the ab muscles.
But can doing ab crunches help you to lose that belly fat? Experts say no. As we tell you, you can’t pick and choose areas where you will burn fat. You will need to keep combining cardio and strength training to decrease overall body fat content.

Myth #6
If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough.  Not so! Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself. It’s possible to burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat: Try taking a walk or doing some light weight training.

Myth #7

Machines are a safer way to exercise. While it may seem as if an exercise machine automatically puts your body in the right position and helps you do all the movements correctly, that’s only true if the machine is properly adjusted for your weight and height.
Unless you are familiar with the machine or have a trainer teach you, you have just as high a risk of injury, than if you work out with free weights or do any other type of non-machine workout.

Myth #8

When it comes to working out, you’ve got to feel some pain if you’re going to gain any benefits. The fitness rumor “no pain-no gain” is one of the most harmful.  While you should expect to have some degree of soreness a day or two after working out, that is entirely different from feeling pain while you are working out. A fitness activity should not hurt while you are doing it, and if it does, then either you are doing it wrong, or you already have an injury. As for “working through the pain,” it is advised against.  If it hurts, stop, rest, and see if the pain goes away. If it doesn’t go away, or if it begins again or increases after you start to work out, see a doctor.

Sources: http://www.shape.com; http://www.webmd.com

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