Happy Monday everyone! I am feeling awesome today and looking forward to a great week. I came across this article in the Washington Post this weekend about some common fitness myths - some of which I too was wondering about. Take a look:
A higher number on the scale means your getting fatter.
- Pay more attention to how you feel, than the number on the scale. Those pounds could be coming from fat OR muscle and the difference is density. One pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat which is why you can become leaner and healthier while at the same time, gain weight. Keep working out so you know if it’s muscle or fat you’re gaining.
Lifting weights makes women bulky.
- In order for women to ‘bulk’ up it, it takes INTENSIVE training that most people don’t do. Women also lack the testosterone levels needed to build bulging muscles. Weight training does create some muscle definition (which you should want!) and resistance training is essential for toning, so don’t put down those weights!
When you stop weight training, muscle turns to fat.
- Muscle and fat are two different types of tissue. When you stop training, you lose muscle mass which slows down your metabolism. The slower metabolism can cause weight gain, but one tissue doesn’t magically turn into the other.
As long as you exercise, you can eat anything you want.
- How I wish this was true! Individual metabolism determines how many calories we burn at rest and during exercise. If you eat more calories than you burn on a consistent basis, your body will accumulate the extra calories as fat, regardless of the amount of exercise you do.
Machines are safer than free weights.
- Not really. Machines are not designed for all body types since there are only so many ways to adjust the seat height and machine settings. Free weights; however, can be adapted more easily. Just make sure to use proper form and alignment so you don’t injure your body.
Fat can be spot-reduced.
- Wishful thinking. :( Bottom line - fat reduction happens with a combination of healthy eating, cardio, & strength work. If you think doing 1,000 crunches a day will reveal your 6-pack, think again. You may have a 6-pack, but it will still be covered in a layer or two of fat if you don’t incorporate healthy eating and cardio too.
There are many more myths out there, so please keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It us up to each one of us to find our perfect combination of strength-cardio-diet-flexibility-and zen to reach our optimal health.