When you’ve just started a commitment to dieting and working out, you might have some preconceived and rather simplistic notions about fitness. Maybe you haven’t talked to a fitness trainer, maybe your more athletic friends have been saying some contradictory things. What are the most dangerous fitness myths out there that you might unintentionally be subscribing to? It’s important to be aware of the facts and fiction to avoid injuries and health risks. Like any other huge investment, take the truths about fitness seriously, so you won’t only reach your goals, but fend off bad advice that could lead to more harm than good.
The best time of the day to work out is in the morning
The truth is that studies have found the most effective time of the day to exercise is the late afternoon and early evening or between 4 pm and 7 pm. Strength and flexibility have been found to be greatest during this time of the day. However, that doesn’t mean there are no benefits to working out first thing in the morning. It can be invigorating and give you the energy you need for the rest of your day. Ultimately, experts agree the best time is whatever time allows you to work consistently.
Weight training will build muscle
People, particularly women, who want to lose weight tend to avoid lifting weights since this exercise is associated with muscle builders. The stereotype is untrue. Weight training will strengthen muscles more than build them.
You’ll lose weight just by exercising
Regular physical activity is key to weight loss, but so is a balanced diet. You can’t feast on junk food the night before and expect to burn it all off the next day at the gym. The food you eat can have long-lasting effects on your body. A diet lacking in proper nutrition can cause hormonal imbalance, resulting in changes in your metabolism, blood pressure, sugar levels, muscle building and more.
Sit-ups will give you 6-pack abs
Performing crunches or sit-ups should melt away all the fat in your abdominal area, right? Not at all! What this will do is potentially strengthen the under-lying muscle but will do nothing to burn fat.
Sports drinks are better than water for rehydrating
Sports drinks are marketed to replenish your electrolytes, ensuring you remain energised throughout and after your workout. What most sports drinks are actually mainly made up of are water and sugar. Sugar can lead to weight gain and other worse results, especially if you want to keep your blood sugar levels regulated. Plain water is your best bet. If you need to re-energise, high-protein snacks or healthy carbs should be your go-to. An exception to the rule maybe if you are doing more than 90 minutes of cardio exercise.
More sweating is better
When you sweat, this is the body’s way of regulating your internal temperature. Excessive sweating doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working hard or that you’re sweating out toxins. How much you sweat is the result of the environment and your own physiology.
Pain is good
If you’ve heard the term “no pain, no gain,” don’t take it too literally. Soreness after a workout is common due to inflammation and small tears in the muscle fibre. You may not want to give up, but listen to your body. If you’re feeling sharp, persistent pain in your muscles, joints and ligaments, that’s a sign to stop and see a medical professional.