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The 8 Fitness Myths That Need To be Debunked
It seems like everyday a new diet fad or a new workout routine is being shared across social media. Unfortunately, some of the information that is widely shared is incorrect. This month we will highlight eight of the top workout myths, so you can be better informed so you can focus on an exercise routine that works for you.
- Soreness Is Good: Not all exercises will create soreness. Exercises that involve low reps and lack an eccentric phase (muscle lengthening phase) do not cause the same type of soreness you may expect, but still provide a great workout.
- Lifting Heavy Will Make You Bulky: Gaining bulk is not so simple. To gain bulk you need to consume a considerable amount of extra calories and perform very targeted exercises to train specific muscles. Unless you are on a very specific body-building program, you don’t need to worry about getting bulky.
- Weight-Scales Are Not Necessary: Some people point out that because of daily fluctuations in body weight, weighing-scales are not a good way to measure progress. This is not true. Water retention can cause daily weight fluctuations of about five pounds, but over the long term charting your weight can help you measure how much fat is being burned away. Weight-scales can help you determine if you are progressing towards your health goals.
- Exercise Is Bad For Your Knees: A Standford Univeristy Study followed runners for 20 years and found that by the time the participants were nearly 70 years of age, they had a lower rate of developing arthritis. This is understandable as exercises, when done properly, can help strengthen the muscles around the knees, reducing stress on the joint. If a person is suffering from knee pain, it might be a good idea to have that checked out to be sure the joint is exercise-ready.
- Love Handle Workouts: You are more likely to reduce fat in unwanted parts of the body, by becoming leaner overall, than performing targeted muscle exercises alone. Targeted exercises for a specific part of the body will show poorer results, compared to a better whole-body exercise and nutrition routine. This is the reason why those late night infomercials for home ab-workout machines are terrible. You won’t get stronger by rocking your abs for five minutes every night.
- Less Rest Means Better Results: You may be getting more workouts in a week without taking a rest day, but most professional athletes and body building will tell you that taking a rest day is important for recovery. Not only will your muscles, tendon and ligaments have an opportunity to heal, but it will also make you stronger for your next exercise day. People are surprised when they take a week off the gym, how much stronger they feel, and how much better they lift. Take some rest, your body will thank you.
- Exercise Machines Don’t Work: Exercise machines can provide a safe and effective workout, especially for people who are new to the gym. Free weight exercises are superb, but workout machines can still provide a good workout if performed correctly.
- Shorter Workouts Are Better: It should be noted that any workout is better than no workout. An intense 5 minute workout can provide more health benefits than no workout at all. But shorter workouts should not be the goal. The goal should be a good workout, not a rushed one. Taking your time between sets, and performing slow concentric/eccentric exercises can help build stronger muscles over time.
If working out is on your to do list, remember it is easier than you think. The key is to start, and like any skill it will get better with time!