Myth: pain after workout means your muscles are growing
If you don’t feel the usual discomfort the day after your workout, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was ineffective.
Over time, the body adapts to a given workload, so the number of microtraumas — the reaction of your muscles to unusual strain that causes post-training pain — is reduced as the muscles become stronger.
Perhaps, you now have more stamina, and you can increase the intensity if you wish.
However, if pain or severe discomfort occurs during physical activity, there is a chance that you are doing something wrong or have sustained an injury.
Experts don’t advise exercising through growing muscle pains. It is necessary to stop and monitor your condition.
If during the next time you exercise, the discomfort persists or worsens, you may need to change the routine or stop training for the day.
Analyze the situation and if discomfort continues to bother you after you have finished working out, be sure to consult a doctor.
Myth: calories burned by stair climbing can’t be considered an exercise
Walking up the stairs is perceived by the body as effort. Even a person who plays sports will sooner or later feel the typical tension in the muscles.
So why not turn this into a full-fledged workout? It has a lot of advantages:
- It's free and available to everyone.
- It helps burn calories.
- It strengthens your legs and buttocks.
- It trains the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases.
- It increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- It allows practicing interval training because the type of exertion differs when walking up and down the stairs.
The main point is that no workout should be easy because it won’t be efficient.
If you have reached the point when simply walking up the stairs is too easy for you, use weights or try skipping one or two steps (if there are no medical contraindications).
Myth: if you exercise, you will lose weight no matter what you eat
There is an opinion that any unplanned meal can be “burned” during a workout. Besides, you’re trying so hard, getting exhausted, and sweating. Can’t you reward yourself with something delicious?
The truth is that even the most zealous workouts can’t completely offset food habits.
Yes, we do lose weight when we burn more calories than we consume, and exercising helps burn calories faster.
However, even the most rigorous workout can only cover the caloric value of one chocolate bar, at most.
Fitness coaches all over the world are unanimous in their opinions that success in building a beautiful body is 30% dependent on exercise and 70% on nutrition.
What you put on your plate is an individual choice, and no one else can make it for you. It's important to understand these facts so that later you’re not wondering why you’re not losing weight.
Myth: excessive sweating during exercise makes you lose weight faster
If you sweat profusely during a workout, then on the next (or even on the same) day, you can see a lower number on the scale. This is where the myth that sweating helps you lose weight comes from.
Drawing on that, girls would try all kinds of tricks.
They’ll wrap their bodies in plastic wrap and special belts, exercise in thick clothing and suffocate from the heat, and come up with another one hundred and one ways to go for sweat workout even more.
But the truth is sweat is a biological reaction of the body to overheating, allowing the skin to cool down and internal body temperature to adjust.
It is not fat, but an aqueous solution of salts and organic substances released by sweat glands.
If you sweat profusely and drink little, you can indeed lose several ounces (hundred grams) due to body dehydration, but this has nothing to do with reducing fat deposits. In addition, the effect of such “weight loss” is very short-term. Not sweating during workout, on the other hand, doesn’t mean you aren’t losing weight or getting in shape.
To lose weight, it is important to monitor your diet, maintaining a small calorie deficit and exercising to a slight fatigue, without exhausting yourself beyond measure.
Myth: if a woman does weight training, she will look manly
This is one of the most common fitness misconceptions, which persists despite the abundance of information available.
It originated from the fact that many people associate the word “muscles” with volume, but having strong and solid muscles is not equal to muscle hypertrophy.
Responsible for muscle size, raspy voice, body hair and other masculine attributes is the male hormone testosterone. There is 15–20 times less testosterone in the female body than in the male body.
Even for men, building bulk muscles is the result of long-term and hard weight training, proper nutrition, and calorie surplus.
For women, it takes much more time and frequent effort to tighten the muscle tissue.
It is impossible to achieve male-like bulk muscles naturally (without resorting to sports pharmacology, which is destructive to women's health).
So don’t be afraid of weight training, but it’s best to do it under the guidance of a competent coach.
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Myth: targeted fat loss is possible
It would be nice if we could decide to reduce the volume of the waist, hips, or another part of the body at any given moment. Unfortunately (or luckily), we can’t influence that.
Everyone stores fat in different body parts, which is determined by one’s sex and genetics. The fat deposits are also reduced unevenly.
If you burn more calories than you consume during the day, it will trigger the weight loss process. After a while, you will reach the desired shape, but it will be your entire body (face, breasts, and arms included) that will be losing weight, and this is an accepted truth.
Workouts aimed at certain body parts won’t help either because while they do help burn calories (which indirectly affects the process of losing weight) and build muscle, they don’t affect the fat cells in the target part of the body.
Don’t aim for rapid progress, but observe simple principles, and the result won’t be long in coming.
Myth: if you want to lose weight, you shouldn’t eat for at least 2 hours after a workout
You’ve just burned a few hundred calories working out and if you eat now, it seems that all your efforts will go to waste.
Do you still associate hunger with the process of losing weight? In fact, the decision to starve yourself after exercising hinders your progress.
The body uses up nutrients and then needs your help to recover. If you don’t eat for at least half an hour after a workout, it won’t receive any fuel and will be forced to get by with its reserves.This will slow down recovery, and you will feel muscle aches and fatigue for much longer. It will also increase the risk of binge eating when the hunger gets unbearable.
You can and should eat after a workout, but the main thing is to approach it wisely.
Myth: cardio for weight loss is the quickest way to lose a few pounds
The main principle of losing weight is burning more calories than you consume during the day. Aerobic activity clearly speeds up this process.
Besides, it’s a great way to get rid of stress, cheer yourself up, and strengthen your immune system. However, the process of burning calories stops as soon as you finish your cardio workout.
If your goal is to see a smaller number on the scales and achieve and maintain a slim figure, add strength training.
It strengthens the muscle tissue, which makes the body look smooth and lean.
It also increases your metabolic rate and triggers increased calorie burning, even at rest. In addition, such workouts will have a beneficial effect on the musculoskeletal system and bone tissue.
So, what is the best solution? Combining aerobic and anaerobic exercises will be the most efficient. If you find creating your own workout plan difficult, consult a competent coach.
Listen to your body and choose an activity that brings you pleasure.
Remember that when it comes to losing weight, the key is proper nutrition, and workouts play an auxiliary role in achieving the desired goal.
Myth: daily workout will help you reach your goal faster
It’s a common misconception that you can achieve a desired fitness result faster by exercising every day.
However, the recovery of the body, especially the nervous system, is directly related to making progress.
Your muscles experience microtraumas during workouts and then grow and get stronger on rest days, which is why it is so important to set the right activity pace.
If you exercise to exhaustion over a long time, your body can begin to revolt and react with:
- increased appetite and weight gain due to protective mechanisms
- menstrual cycle dysfunction
- sleep disorders and constant fatigue
If you want to achieve the desired results and preserve your health, it is better to combine strength and aerobic exercises.
The number of workouts in this case depends on your fitness level. If you are a beginner, try exercising every other day or at least twice a week.
If you have been exercising for a long time, let yourself rest at least once a week.
It is very important that the workouts are diverse. If you work with different muscle groups at a time, you will avoid exhaustion and injuries.
Remember that the main indicator that you have chosen the right pace is the gradual improvement of your personal well-being.
Myth: working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat
There is a common misconception that working out in the morning on an empty stomach is a quick and efficient way to lose weight.
In reality, there is no proof that it helps burn more fat. Besides, after training on an empty stomach, you may feel weak and dizzy.
The body needs fuel to build muscle and burn calories. Be sure to have a snack 45–60 minutes before working out.
Well, that’s it! Hope you had found something new and useful in debunking these 10 fitness myths. Live healthily and prosper!