Top 10 fitness lies - busted!
We rounded up the 10 most common fitness fibs and falsehoods so you can steer clear of these lies and reach your health and fitness goals.
1) Weight training will make you big. In reality, it takes a great deal of effort, food and optimal stress-free living over a long time to build significant amounts of muscle. Lifting weights a few times a week will not turn you into Arnie overnight.
2) Cardio is best for burning fat. It makes sense: cardiovascular training (like running, cycling and swimming) burns serious amounts of calories, right? Well, maybe. The body adapts very quickly to this kind of training and over time will burn less and less energy. And that calorie burn stops as soon as you do. Try interval training or weight training instead: the calorie burns lasts long after the session ends.
3) No pain, no gain. This hard-core attitude is all well and good but can be misleading. Learn to know the difference between the pain of hard work and the pain of injury, over-training and exhaustion. They won't get you anywhere in the long run.
4) Women shouldn't weight train. Yes, they should. In fact there's an argument that women have more to gain from resistance training than men do. Bone density, fat loss, mental wellbeing, body composition, and offsetting osteoporosis for starters. Women lack the testosterone needed to pack on bulk, so getting too big simply won't happen. But plenty of good things will!
5) Yoga is just for chilling out. Yoga is great for mindset, stretching and emotional wellbeing. But that's far from all it's good for. Yoga can strengthen skeletal tissue, offset injury, correct postural imbalances, encourage better breathing and even improve blood flow and heart health.
6) It's best to exercise every day. It depends on what you mean by exercise. Yes, it's certainly a good idea to be active every single day. But that could mean walking the dog or gardening. It's not necessary to run or go to the gym every day, and could in fact be detrimental to fitness and health goals.
7) Walking isn't proper exercise. Oh yes it is! Before gyms, before the popularisation of aerobics and fitness classes, walking was the one form of exercise almost everyone did regularly. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise for cardiovascular health, mental wellbeing, fat loss, calorie burn and sustainable activity. We should all walk every day.
8) If you're having fun, it's not working. Exercise has to be a chore, right? It has to be sweaty, painful, embarrassing and make you ache, doesn't it? Not at all. In fact, it's far better to find a form of exercise, sport or activity which you absolutely love. You'll get more from it and will keep it up for years. Try team sports (did you love netball at school?), hiking, cycling, or a brand new activity like rock climbing or kayaking.
9) You have to work out in a gym. If you don't have a gym membership, can you really get fit? Of course you can! Nature's gym is all around us and offers fantastic ways to walk, hike, cycle, climb, run and be active. Or perhaps you like classes, swimming or team sports. There's no need to go to a gym at all (unless you love it!)
10) You need to lose weight before you start exercising. What comes first, the weight loss or the exercise? Unlike the chicken/egg conundrum, this one is simple. Just get going, now, today. Start getting more active in any way you can. Don't wait to lose a few pounds or get to your target weight. Tomorrow never comes… Besides, the sooner you start exercising, the faster the weight will come off!