Myth 1: Static stretching before exercise is the best way to warm up
Debunk: Stretching before your exercise routine can weaken your performance, actually. Holding a stretch can tire out a muscle and inhibit its performance. You want to begin your daily program with a light cardio warmup or some dynamic stretching. This will increase blood flow, and properly prepare the muscles to work efficiently and effectively during the day’s routine.
Your take away: Post exercise stretching is best!
Myth 2: You need to spend long amounts of time at the gym for it to work
Debunk: Yes, gym time IS important, but rest days and recovery are equally important! Working out every single day can lead to over training and injury. This will eventually prevent your muscles from rebounding and your body will not improve. If you are overtraining, and injury sets in, eventually you will be out of your routine LONGER because that time will now be spend rehabbing an injury that could have been prevented.
Your take away: Take a day off! Set aside 1-2 days depending on your level of training for RECOVERY! The comeback will always be greater!
Myth 3: Crunches will give me flat, toned abs
Debunk: Crunches are GREAT! BUT, they do not work alone. Your abdominal muscles are there, but they need to be uncovered by the body fat that lies on top of them. While doing abdominal exercises WILL burn calories, they alone won’t’ do the trick. Crunches are essentially a strength training exercise designed to make the abdominal muscles stronger and more toned, but it’s a combination of aerobic exercise and proper nutrition that will reduce the body fat preventing you from seeing them.
Your take away: Don’t be frustrated! Your abs are there so just stick with the perfect combination of diet, cardiovascular exercise, and yes-crunches! Together they will work, alone, they will not!
Myth 4: If you eat after your workout, you will not lose weight
Debunk: If you have no gas in your car, will it run? NO! So you NEED to refuel your body after you’ve depleted it by exercising! Does this mean that if you burned 300 calories during your workout you’ve ‘earned’ a greasy slice of pizza? Not exactly. You will never be able to exercise away a bad diet but on the contrary if you don’t refuel, you can hinder your progress. During a workout, the body uses up nutrients and if you aren’t refueling them, your body will use up its reserve stores. You can be fatigued and achy and when your hunger pangs get bad enough….eventually you will binge and overeat.
Your take away: Eating after your workout is a necessity but do your homework and approach it with sensibility. Back to the car analogy, refuel with premium, not economy and your body will perform better
Myth 5: The only way to lose fat is by doing cardio
Debunk: Okay, so yes, doing cardio WILL burn calories and it can be substantial. However, the main principle of losing weight is burning MORE calories than you consume during the day. Cardiovascular exercise accelerates this process. What most people forget about is strength training. This too will help you burn calories but it will also speed up your BMR, or basal metabolic rate. The more lean tissue we have, the faster our metabolism will be, and you will not only burn more calories at rest, but you will burn more during your cardiovascular workouts. There are many more myths about strength training in general….but you’ll need to stay tuned for another blog!
Your take away: Losing fat: The answer is simple, eat smart, do your cardio, add in strength training….and don’t stress! It won’t happen overnight, but it WILL happen!