10 Biggest Fitness Myths Busted
Have you been busting your bottom at the gym but the results aren’t coming? Perhaps you’ve been waking up at 6am each morning to workout before you even get to work?
Yet despite you best efforts, nothing is improving. You still feel unfit. And you’ve not really lost any weight. Worse still, your muscles just aren’t forming.
So what gives?
The chances are that you’ve fallen victim to misinformation. Unfortunately, this is something that happens a lot because of the Internet. Anybody can post anything on the world wide web – including stuff that is totally and utterly untrue.
And this is never more the case than in the fitness world, were everyone is an expert, and everyone has some advice to give you. Hey, it worked for them so it should work for you, right?!
Or maybe you weren’t given bad advice over the Internet. Maybe it was your friend who told you to do this or do that. But while their intentions were no doubt honourable, they may have been guilty of sharing bad advice.
To separate the truths from the lies, and to you get your fitness game back on track, here are 10 of the biggest fitness myths busted.
For Flat Abs, Crunches Are Key
Crunches are probably the most iconic of all the abdominal exercises. Everyone does them. And you’ve been told to do them too if you want a flatter midsection.
But just because everyone believes something doesn’t make it a fact. And this one certainly is not a fact.
Crunches don’t actually burn off all that many calories, which therefore means they aren’t suitable if you’re looking to flatten your tummy.
Crunches do tone a tiny bit of your abs – but not enough.
Instead, I suggest swapping crunches for something which invokes your distal trunk, because what you’re really looking to do is engage your whole core.
Carbs Make You Fat
Carbs are not intrinsically bad for you, and they don’t make you fat. In fact, you need carbs for optimal workout performance!
Sweat = More Burnt Calories
It seems to be a common idea among gym bunnies that the more you sweat, the more calories you burn. If you don’t leave a workout session looking as though you’ve just walked through a car wash, it basically means that you haven’t pushed yourself hard enough. You haven’t burnt enough calories. In other words, you’ve totally failed.
Not true. Just because you’re absolutely soaked to the skin, it doesn’t mean that you’ve burnt more calories than usual. Sure, you’d love to believe that (and you’re probably reading this with great disappointment now!), but I’m sorry – it just isn’t true.
Too Much Running Will Ruin Your Knees
I’ve heard this myth a few times, and you probably have, too. Basically the myth is that the more you run, the worse your knees will become. They will buckle and fall apart and pretty soon you’ll not be able to walk ever again!
The reality, though, is that running is NOT bad for your knees. At all. In fact, people who run often will have just as spectacular a pair of knees as those who don’t run at all.
However, you do have to take care when running. It’s fairly rigorous exercise, and if you don’t take the right precautions, you could do yourself a potentially bad injury.
Running On A Treadmill Is Better For Your Knees Than Running On Pavement
I’m gonna fix this one onto the tail of the one above. No matter how many times people say to you that running on a treadmill is better for your knees than running on pavement or asphalt, don’t believe them.
Your body weight and its force is what causes stress on your knees – NOT the ground you’re running on.
An Aerobic Workout Improves Your Metabolism For Hours On End
This myth is actually partially true. Yes, an aerobic workout will enhance your metabolism. But it won’t turbocharge it the way lots of people think it does.
Your metabolism burns at a higher rate after aerobics – but the improvement is only marginal. It’s there, but it doesn’t allow you to burn any more than around 20 more calories.
If You Stretch, You Will Recover Quicker
A recent study carried out by the University of Milan totally debunked the myth that stretching after exercising improves your body’s rate of recovery.
The study found that the blood lactate levels in people who stretch after working out is no different to the levels in folk who don’t stretch after a workout.
Unfortunately, then, stretching will not speed up your recovery time, and your sore muscles and aching joints are going to stay with you for as long as usual.
You can still stretch, though, because it does come with some useful benefits. For a start, it feels good. It also improves joint flexibility. So you don’t need to totally discard it – just don’t get annoyed when your recovery time doesn’t improve!
Swimming Will Help You Lose Weight
Swimming is a great form of exercise, and you should keep doing it. But if you’ve taken up swimming to lose weight, I have to tell you that you’re in for a lot of frustration.
Swimming’s main benefits lie with the lungs and muscles. It tones muscles and boosts lung capacity. But it doesn’t really help you to shed the pounds.
Any Less Than 45 Minutes Is Not Enough Time To Get A Health Benefit
This is totally untrue. Sometimes we only have ten minutes to spare each day. But are we really going to refrain from exercising because “ten minutes is pointless”? We might – but we shouldn’t.
All exercise is beneficial. Even if it’s half an hour or 10 minutes, it’s all good for your health.
In fact, studies suggest that short workouts are incredibly powerful and could actually be even more beneficial than longer ones.
Weights Bulk You Up
This is a myth that has probably been around since the time of Hercules. But it’s just not true. Weights by themselves do not bulk you up because the hormonal conditions needed to add muscle mass aren’t naturally occurring in most of us. Instead, you need to eat the right foods.
Do you know other fitness myths?