5 Common Fitness Myths

There is a substantial amount of information out there and while this can be a great thing, it can also lead to a lot of misinformation.

These are 5 common fitness myths, debunked:

1. Lifting weights inhibits or stunts growth.

There has been absolutely no evidence to validate this myth. If one starts lifting more than one can handle it can lead to injury, no matter the age or experience, but not to a decrease in height.

The effects of weight lifting, leads to an increase in testosterone, which may actually help in increasing bone density and length.

2. Lift many reps of light weight to get toned.

To get that toned and lean look, one needs to have a low body fat percentage and plenty of muscle mass. Using light weight will not help to achieve muscle mass. No muscle fibers are being torn and reconstructed to become bigger and stronger, if not they are not being challenged enough.

If one doesn’t have muscle mass, a lot of fat will not be burned. Without muscle and without fat, there will be no toned look.

3. If you sweat a lot you will burn a lot of fat.

Sweating is the body’s reaction to heat, working to cool the body down. The scientific term for this process is thermoregulation. While you may lose weight after sweating, it is usually from the loss of water, not fat.

4. Swimming is a great activity to lose weight.

While this may be a good exercise for your lungs, fat floats in water so you are being supported. If you were to run,which has no outside support, it would be a much better exercise to lose weight.

Unless you swim for hours a day, it’s not an ideal way to lose weight. However if you want to lose more calories while swimming, swim in cold water as the body burns more calories trying to heat itself up.

Keep in mind it’s still not a huge difference and swimming shouldn’t be used as a primary exercise to lose weight.

5. No pain-no gain.

It is of vital importance to be able to distinguish pain, from muscle soreness.

Working out should not hurt while doing the activity and if it does you should stop right away. You are either doing it incorrectly or already have an injury and should stop immediately.

If it hurts, take a break and see if the pain goes away.

 

 

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Why Calories are Not All the Same and Diets Don’t Last Long Term

There is a science to losing weight. Simply put, it is calories in versus calories out. If you eat more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight.

This would have you believe, that if you were to have a 12 oz coke, which has 140 calories, compared to lets say 140 calories of almonds, they are the same thing. This is just not true. Not all calories are equal.

Almonds have a good amount of fiber. Due to the amount of fiber the almonds have, the almonds will be digested slowly. The almonds will not get absorbed right away, so your blood sugar rise is going to be low and you will remain fuller for longer.

A 12 oz can of coke however has no fiber. Without the fiber, the soda will be absorbed almost instantly in the liver. This causes the liver to get a huge blood sugar rise and the liver has no option but to turn it into fat. Besides for turning it almost immediately into fat, you are amazingly still hungry and thirsty. In fact more than before and that is the excess sugar, lack of fiber and chemicals at work.

To burn off a 20 oz soda, you would need to bike for an hour and 15 minutes. To burn of a single cookie, it is roughly 20 minutes of jogging. It would be pretty difficult to exercise so much every day to burn off the calories from junk food.

There have been numerous studies done with mice about exercise and effects of unnecessary sugar. Studies showed that mice that were given sugar water, compared to those that were given regular water, had a significantly less drive to move. Based on these studies, even if you could somehow manage to fit all the exercising in your day, you would find it harder to do so.

If you were to count calories and were to make sure you were burning off more than you consumed, you would lose weight. This weight that you lost though will most definitely come right back once you stop counting calories.

There is a reason diets don’t work for long term. Yes you can follow a diet and lose weight but you will most likely feel restricted and stuck eating what the diet tells you to eat.

The Atkins diet is a popular diet and perhaps you have heard of it. It is basically founded on the idea that carbohydrates are bad and having a lot of protein and fat are good. I’m not going to go into why this is wrong right now, but i want to ask you what you would expect Dr. Atkins to look like. Probably very fit and healthy right? Wrong, hes dead. Apparently he slipped on ice and hit his head. There are many reports stating he struggled with heart problems and being overweight. Of course there are reports (by his wife) he somehow gained 60 pounds in fluid retention in his last week or so in the hospital and he was really not overweight. Besides for that not really being possible, friends who knew him for years said he was always overweight.

The point is this: most popular diets are made to sell, regardless if they are healthy or not. Yes you can lose weight in the short term following these diets. It will not be a healthy way to lose weight however and it will be very hard to keep the weight off.

With this information, we begin to appreciate the importance of healthy eating. The best part about eating whole, unprocessed, nutritious foods, is that you don’t have to count calories or follow a specific set of rules of how much you can eat. You can gain weight if you ate apples all day but that would be difficult because the fiber fills you up. The same with water, too much can be a bad thing as well but its very hard to get to that level, as it fills you up.

If you want to lose weight, eat healthy! It’s easier than you would think and the benefits are astounding. No more diets to follow, calories to count, carbs to avoid. Just avoid processed foods and sugary drinks and see and feel for yourself the difference in your overall well being.

Should You do Abdominal Exercises to Target Belly Fat?

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No matter what you do, you can’t seem to get rid of the stubborn fat covering that six-pack you’ve been dreaming of. Are you not doing enough exercises? Are you doing the exercises wrong or maybe you are just not doing enough sets and reps?

These are some questions you might ask yourself on your quest to glorious abs. Before even attempting to answer these questions, we need to make sure that the questions we are asking, are the correct questions to ask. In order to do that, we need to look back in time.

In the 1960s, women’s “figure salons”, as they were called then, were becoming a popular movement. The men worked on strength and developing muscle size in male-oriented gyms, while the women worked on weight loss and spot reduction in women’s fitness centers.Spot reduction, is the belief that fat can be targeted in a specific area with specific exercises. For example, a lot of ab workouts to get rid of abdominal fat. This has been proven to be completely FALSE. In the 60s, women used a rolling machine to roll away fat. They also used a vibrating belt to help jiggle fat from the thighs. That hopefully sounds pretty insane to you but essentially doing a ton of abdominal workouts to get rid of abdominal fat, is doing the same thing the women in the 60s tried, albeit without an electric vibrating belt.

In order to see your abs, you need to have about 10 to 15 percent body fat. If you want those abs to show, you should make sure to do a lot of cardio, along with lifting weights. Allowing your body appropriate rest time to heal is vital to see the results you want. Consistency is key here. You should also stay away from processed foods and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

In future posts, I will elaborate on the importance of clean eating , as well as what exercises to do to see optimal results and much more. Stay tuned for more fitness tips.