In my first post here at Everyday Diabetes I am going to share some busted fitness myths which will help you recognise facts from the fiction and truth from lies.
Don’t hit the gym without reading this.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
The correct version should be no “good” pain, no gain. Here, by good pain, I mean “the burn” or the mild burning sensation which is felt in the muscles while doing any workout, and which signifies improvement.
Little bit of discomfort or fatigue is quite common during a workout. Exercising to the point of pain can do more harm than good though. So there is absolutely no need to endure too much stress too quickly.
However, you can expect a little soreness when you try something new or sometimes there’s a pain because of incorrect technique. So, if you feel a sharp, shooting pain in your back, neck, ankles or any other joint during your workout session, it would be wiser to stop it there only and consult your doctor or a fitness professional.
WEIGHT TRAINING MAKES WOMEN BULKY AND MANLY
This is one of the most common myths I have heard from every other woman. This statement is true if the women is on steroids. Yes, until and unless you inject yourself with steroids, you won’t turn into a man. So ladies, don’t fear the barbells.
Hormones play a huge role in making you bulky. Building huge muscles require testosterone (the average man produces 10 times the amount of testosterone as the average woman) coupled with sustained period of very high-intensity weight training regimen, apart from a high protein diet.
As women have lower testosterone levels than men, it prevents them from developing large, bulky muscles. Hit the gym and don’t worry.
CARDIO IS THE ONLY WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT
Enter any gym, 80% of women and many overweight men can be seen, creating a huge rush in the cardio section. Many people believe that the only way to lose weight and get in shape is to put on a pair of sneakers and run until their legs can’t take it anymore. If you think, cardiovascular exercise would work as a magic wand to shed pounds then you are highly mistaken.
Cardio, of course, can be an effective weight-loss tool, but only when accompanied by a balanced exercise routine which includes activities that target your entire body and proper strength training as well.
According to the studies published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than those who skipped the weights. The more muscle, the more fat burned.
If you run on a treadmill before you hit the weights, you will be too fatigued to train as heavy as you can. “You need muscle and not miles to burn fat”.
DRINKING WATER DURING EXERCISE LEADS TO CRAMPS
I would say “Let thirst be your hydration guide” as drinking water during exercise can actually PREVENT cramps. It’s very essential to drink water before, during and after workout to prevent dehydration which can lead to headache, dizziness, fatigue and cramps.
It is true that consuming a large volume of fluid just before starting your workout can certainly make you feel bloated and sluggish so, always make sure to drink a small amount of water 2 hrs prior to your exercise session. This will keep you hydrated.
You can lose up to 250ml of water as sweat per hour during exercise. Sipping water after every 10-15 minutes while working out can help.
CARB ELIMINATION IS THE ONLY WAY TO SLIM DOWN
Diet, weight training and cardio – it’s the holy trinity of fitness. So if you are attempting to lose weight and really want to see the difference, just keep in my three important aspects.
First, carbs are essential and they are basically fuel for intense workout. If you are training for a long endurance event, eat a lot of carbs, probably at least 50% of your diet.
Second, if you want to gain muscle, you’re going to need carbs and if you take them out completely, you’ll burn more body fat during training perhaps, but you can’t keep it up for long.
Lastly, not only your body, but even your brain needs a minimum amount of carbs to ensure that it functions properly. The brain needs glucose to work. Your body can be ketonic and use fatty acids to fuel your muscles, but your brain can’t.
SPENDING MORE TIME AT THE GYM IS BETTER
There is no need to take up residence in the gym to fall victim to overtraining. Exercising too much results in muscle loss, decreased strength, more injuries, insomnia and constant muscle soreness.Your body needs to recover, especially after a tough session. So, set aside at least one day a week where you do absolutely nothing and give your body some rest.
Keep in mind that it is through rest that your muscle grow and develop.
Be sure to take regular breaks, whether it’s every other day (if you’re a beginner) or once a week (for the advanced). And try to keep your workout varied because doing the same training pattern can lead to injuries, if you don’t mix the things up.
In fact, people who work out too hard for too long are often less healthy than sedentary people, and have an increased risk of death compared to moderate exercisers, according to the British journal Heart.
YOU CANNOT GAIN MUSCLE AFTER A CERTAIN AGE
Muscle loss is caused not by aging itself but by the lack of activity. The fact is you may always train your muscle regardless of your age so don’t use your age as an excuse to let yourself go. There is no denying the fact that building muscle get more challenging as you age but as long as you are challenging your muscles and feeding them the proper nutrients, your body will respond.
Not only is muscle gain possible but it’s also very beneficial for older adults as strength training helps increasing bone mass. It’s fair to say that it’s never too late to start lifting.
Hopefully these busted fitness myths will help you make smart choices and find real ways to meet your fitness objectives.