5 debunked fitness myths
Ahhhh the internet, our ongoing source of helpful information about… well, everything. It’s so handy to have an encyclopaedic knowledge at our fingertips but it’s important to remember it can sometimes lead us astray. That’s right folks, the old saying ‘don’t believe everything you read on the internet’ has merit. Quite a bit actually. Since anyone can publish anything without any fact checking protocols, there’s an endless supply of false information for us to digest. This is never more true than with fitness ‘facts’. So with that in mind, lets debunk some of the fitness myths you might be falsely led to believe.
Myth no.1: You can eat what you want so long as you burn it off
Let’s debunk this incredible important fitness myth straight up. As awesome as it might be to think about food only in terms of calories, when you look at it this way you’re missing the bigger picture. As nutritional biochemist Dr Libby says, no amount of exercise can burn off a lousy way of eating. Nutritious food offers our body nutrients that fuel a whole host of health-building processes. You might be one of the lucky ones who can stay slim when you live on junk food and exercise like crazy (at least for now), but even so, you don’t know the cumulative effect of not getting adequate nutrition. More often than not, somewhere down the line the wheels begin to fall off and you wonder why the way you used to deal with body fat doesn’t work the same way anymore. Moral of the story? Look at food as so much more than just calories and eat for the nourishment of all your cells and important body processes.
Myth no.2: You can crunch your way to a six pack
Remember the old ab roller craze in the 90s? Those ads convinced us if only we did enough crunches a day, we could roll our way to perfect flat abs. Sorry to burst your bubble but this fitness myth is definitely not true. Targeted exercises will provide tone and definition—which is definitely beneficial—but it won’t necessarily help you target fat burning on specific parts of your body. Your overall exercise routine and the way you eat will play a far greater role in this, so let’s leave this officially debunked fitness myth back in the 90s where it belongs.
Myth no.3: Cardio is the only way to lose weight
This myth was another popular one of the 80s and 90s and it’s still lingering around today. What science has now told us is that, while there certainly isn’t anything wrong with it, cardio isn’t the only—nor the best—way to lose weight. Focused weight training is a much more effective way to reduce body fat than cardo, especially when combined with interval training. Weight training builds muscle and this boosts our metabolism so we end up burning calories for a much longer period of time when we up our muscle density.
Myth no. 4: You have to push yourself to the edge to get results
Let’s debunk this fitness myth once and for all because it may actually be working against you. You don’t have to train hard to see results. In fact, some of you may benefit from training less than you are now or at least from integrating some more restorative practices into your weekly schedule to complement your more vigorous endeavours. Breath-focused practices like yoga or Pilates will help to balance out your nervous system and improve your flexibility.
Myth no. 5: Women who weight train will bulk up
If you shy away from weight training because you’re afraid of getting too muscly, you’ll be excited to hear you can enjoy all the benefits we’ve already discussed without the feared bulkiness. That’s right, weight training doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop big, showy muscles. Your body is quite the economist when it comes to energy and it doesn’t decide to just bulk on a whole heap of muscle that you don’t actually need—or won’t use. Of course if you dedicate yourself to training heavy weights and steadily increase the load, your muscles will grow but this is the only form of weight training available to you. Using things like dumbbells, kettlebells and your own body weight as resistance is still considered weight training and will give you nice toned and functional muscles. Exactly what you need to maintain great health and mobility through your daily life!