In an age dominated by the internet, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information out there.
Even “experts” often reverse course as more data comes in to bolster or destroy certain claims. (Remember when red wine was good for you, then bad for you, then good again?) The resulting confusion renders it difficult to know who to listen to when it comes to our health.
We’ve gathered evidence from various sources, hoping to bring you the most legitimate intel as of today. We hope the following “myth-busting” helps you better achieve your fitness goals!
Myth #1: More is always better
Everything seems to come big in America – and fitness is no different.
Many tend to believe that if some is good, a lot is better. But when it comes to fitness, experts say this isn’t the case. Injury is a big risk of over-training – your body needs a rest, especially after a particularly challenging workout. Experts recommend a day off per week for the more advanced exerciser, and rest every other day for novices.
Myth #2: Pain = gain
Going along with the fallacious “more is always better” philosophy, enough folks believe “no pain, no gain” that it’s a well-quoted expression.
This is not only untrue, but dangerous. Pain is our body’s warning system – think of it as a “danger ahead” sign. If you continue to perform the activity causing the pain, you greatly increase your risk of being injured. Everything from a pulled muscle to a heart attack can occur if you fail to listen to your body’s alarm, so the next time you feel uncomfortable, take a few breaths. And remember that “pushing through the pain” is not only ignorant, but also very unsafe.
Myth #3: You can “target” fat loss
How many of us do hundreds of crunches, hoping the focus on our abdominal region will eliminate some belly fat? Unfortunately, you can’t “target” fat loss to one area of your body. Experts say the only way to lose fat in one section of your body is to focus on overall body fat loss through a combination of cardio, lifting, and dieting.
Myth #4: If you’re sweating, you’re burning calories
The phrase “break a sweat” is a popular way of saying you’ve been working hard at something, and that should help burn calories. What many exercisers fail to realize is that sweating is really just our body’s method of cooling down, and can be as attributable to the temperature of the workout environment as any actual fat burned.
Myth #5: Swimming is great for weight loss
Swimming is a wonderful activity with many health benefits, including increased lung capacity, improved stamina, and value as a stress reliever.
It is not, however, as helpful in losing weight as many other exercises. The reason for this is that the water’s buoyancy supports a lot of your body weight, lessening the resistance you would experience out of the water. So be aware that while swimming provides great exercise, it may not being helping you drop pounds.
What are some of the most ridiculous fitness myths you’ve heard? Tweet us at @Precor and we’ll publish the most “out there” results!
(Sources: WebMD, Fitness Magazine, CNN)