Search the Internet or pick up a fitness magazine, and you will find that information on exercise appears to be endless. But whenever a wealth of information exists on a particular topic, so does a ton of misinformation. When it comes to exercise, people often buy into these common myths. Learn the truth so that you can put together the best exercise program to help you meet your fitness goals.
Myth 1: The best way to lose weight is by doing lots of cardio exercise.
Yes, cardio exercise burns calories, which is essential to weight loss. But it doesn’t do anything to increase your resting metabolic rate ( the amount of calories you burn each day without doing anything at all). Combining cardio with strength training is really the best way to approach weight loss, because strength training builds muscle which boosts your metabolism.
Myth 2: Strength training will make you bulky.
Women, in particular, worry that strength training will add too much bulky muscle to their frames. And if that isn’t the look you’re going for, you might avoid the weight room altogether. But since women don’t typically have enough testosterone to truly “bulk up”, strength training is likely to result in lean muscle tissue and a boosted metabolism, not enormous biceps.
Myth 3: You need machines and heavy weights to perform strength training correctly.
Television commercial might have given you the impression that you need to purchase an expensive at-home gym system, or join a gym in your community, in order to access the special equipment necessary for strength training. But strength training just means using resistance to tone your muscles, and that can be accomplished with an array of body weight exercises. You can add a few hand weights, resistance bands, or a kettlebell to round out your routine, but even those aren’t absolutely necessary.
Myth 4: Certain exercises will burn fat from specific areas of your body.
Unfortunately, no, there is no way to tell your body that it must burn fat cells from a particular location. You can certainly target certain body parts with strength training exercises, and tone the muscles there, but you will have to lose weight throughout your entire body in order to shrink fat cells in the spots that bother you.
Myth 5: If you’re not sore, you didn’t get a good workout.
Sometimes, soreness after a workout does indicate that you exercised at a high level of intensity. But other times, it simply tells you that your muscles are stressed and did not adequately recover afterward. Refueling with water and protein within 30 to 45 minutes afterward, stretching adequately, and getting enough sleep can help prevent sore muscles. And you’ll still be getting a great workout!