Fitness Myths Busted
Over the years, many myths have floated around about exercise and getting the best results from your fitness routine. If you’re stuck in a plateau in your workouts or aren’t reaching your fitness goals, it may be time to investigate if what you’re doing is actually effective or…dun dun dun…you’ve fallen victim to a popular fitness myth. Let’s clear up the confusion so that you can have the most effective workouts and start crushing your fitness goals asap.
Myth: You should stretch before you work out
Fact: Stretching pre-workout may loosen your tendons and muscles, making your muscles feel weak and less steady during your workout. Instead of traditional stretches, try a dynamic warm-up routine that will increase your blood flow and flexibility such as jumping jacks, slow-motion mountain climbers, and arm crossovers.
Myth: Lifting heavy weights will make you look bulky
Fact: Lifting heavy weights actually helps you slim down. Women who lift a heavier weight for eight reps burn twice as many calories as women who use lighter weights for reps of 15 according to Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Myth: You have to eat breakfast before you workout
Fact: Your body actually burns more fat if you workout before eating in the morning. According to a study published by the British Journal of Nutrition, working out in the morning can increase your body’s fat burning by, just make sure to stay hydrated by drinking enough water.
Myth: You should eat carbs before a workout
Fact: Yes and no. The best option for a pre-workout meal or snack is to eat something that has levels of carbs and proteins. Think oatmeal or granola, or a piece of fruit with some peanut butter. They type of carb you’re eating matters. Don’t eat a big portion of pasta or a sugary doughnut because those options are not easy to digest and may lead to discomfort during your workout. Not to mention depending on portion size they may derail your fitness goals altogether.
The importance of integrating the two is key because the carbs supply your muscles with glucose to fuel your workout session and the protein helps make amino acids available to your body so that you utilize that protein, versus breaking down protein that’s stored in your muscles.” Amy Gorin-MS, RDN
Myth: The best time to workout is in the morning
Fact: The best time to work out is whatever time will help you stay consistent and diligent about working out. If you prefer exercising at night, go for it. If you prefer early morning then do that. It’s really about your preference. However, if you don’t have a preference, there is some evidence that working out in the morning may jumpstart your metabolism and prime your body to burn more fat during the day.
Myth: Exercise is the most effective way to lose weight
Fact: Although exercise is extremely important; by itself, it won’t work to burn off everything you’ve eaten if you’re making poor food choices or overeating. If your goal is weight loss, the most effective way is to change your eating habits. “In terms of weight loss, diet plays a much bigger role than exercise.”-Philip Stanforth of The University of Texas.
Myth: Sports drinks are good hydration following a workout
Fact: Maybe. It depends on the type of workout and how long the workout lasts. Generally speaking, if you have completed a workout that lasted an hour or less, you’re better served by drinking regular water following your workout. Alternatively, if you have been working out strenuously for over an hour, then drinking a sports drink may help to replenish your body’s fluids, while also providing sugar and electrolytes that your body needs.