There are loads of myths out there about getting fit, so I thought I’d talk to you about 5 fitness myths we all need to stop believing right now
#1 You need to do loads of cardio to lose weight…
Nope. You do not need to do a shed-load of cardio to lose weight. In fact the best approach is a combination of cardio and resistance training. Not only will this help you to lose weight but it will also give you a better body shape with more definition, it will also help to protect your bone health and guard against osteoporosis (particularly important for women). Studies have supported this – a recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, compared three groups of people – one group only did resistance training, one only did cardio and the other did a combination of both. The group that did the combination of cardio and resistance training lost more weight than the other two groups. Studies have also shown that the effects are more long lasting when resistance training is included. This is because building lean muscle also helps to improve calorie burning and increase metabolism.
Now of course cardio burns calories but it can also make you more hungry too which means it can also derail weight loss attempts as well.
#2 No pain no gain…
If it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work right? No – this is totally wrong – you don’t need to be in pain to prove your workout was effective. Yes, it’s good to feel the work, but progress shouldn’t be measured by how sore you are afterwards. I’ve seen so many people struggling with injuries as a result of being thrown straight in to workouts that were far too intense for their fitness levels. If you are left in agony or utterly exhausted all the time, then your workout could be doing you more harm than good. It means you will end up being less active over all and burning less calories than you would have done otherwise. Plus if you injure yourself then you may not be able to workout at all!
So find a workout schedule that is right for you – some muscle soreness after you train is normal, and if you start doing something new (like any form of weight training) then you may feel very sore the first time, but that shouldn’t happen every single time, and you should still be able to function! A workout should be something to look forward to and enjoy, as that way you will keep coming back to it – which is the key to long term success.
#3 Sit ups will give you a flat stomach
Ah if only it was that simple! Sadly no amount of sit ups or crunches will give you a flat stomach just like that. If you want to lose belly fat you have to lose fat generally – you can not spot reduce by working those muscles more than others. Even if you have low enough body fat for a six pack you need more than just sit ups to develop good looking abs – so you need a whole range of core exercises – things like planks, leg extensions, roll-outs etc. If you want to know more about belly fat and how to shift it then have a read of my article all about it – “bye bye belly fat – tips to help shift stubborn belly fat”
#4 Lifting weights makes you bulky
This is one of the most common misconceptions – especially amongst women. But never fear girls – you’re going to be fine. Trust me – you would have to make a SERIOUS effort to get bulky and that’s not going to happen by lifting weights in the gym a few times a week or doing a few bodypump classes. Women just aren’t biologically designed to bulk in the same way men are, due to lower levels of testosterone. Even men need to work pretty hard to bulk! No one gets an easy pass here! What you may find though is that when you start lifting weights or doing more pump classes you may feel like you are getting chunkier. What’s actually happening is that yes you are probably building a bit of muscle, your muscles will also be pumped with blood from the extra use and when you first start you will still be carrying whatever fat you have on top of this – so yes you will get a little bigger perhaps, but pretty soon that fat will start to be lost and you’ll drop back down to a slimmer look than before – so trust the process and don’t be afraid of those weights.
#5 You have to look like a fitness model to be healthy and fit
Absolutely not! Don’t let all those instagram pics of super fit models with six packs, chiseled arms and legs convince you that that is the only measure of health and fitness. Behind those images, aside from a good deal of photoshop in many cases, is a lifestyle of punishing diets and obsessive exercise which is simply not something the majority of us can or want to do. I’m not saying being fit and toned and having a six pack isn’t healthy either, but it just isn’t the only standard of “fit” out there. Instead think about what being fit and healthy means to you – is it being able to play with your children without having to stop and rest, is it being able to fit in to a size 10 pair of jeans, is it being able to lift your own suitcase off the conveyer at the airport…. it’s not all about the six pack!
Want some help ?? to smash these myths in your own life and actually achieve results ?? Yes please !!
Well please go ahead and book in your ‘getting to know you call‘ today, let’s chat.
This article is written by Dr Nancy Priston. Please remember, she isn’t a medical Dr, the information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your GP or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this site.