Exercise myths based on misinformation
If you are a regular gym goer, you must have heard comments such as ‘you will never bulk up without supplements‘ or ‘if you don’t feel pain the next day, you are doing something wrong‘. These comments, or half truths, are just stubborn exercise myths that are based on misinformation. Actually, they can even hinder your fitness efforts and keep you from reaching your fitness goals.
So what myths related to healthy exercise are you being fed? And what does science have to say about these misconceptions? This post will equip you with all the right information to take away for good workout plans and a more fit you!
Exercise myths you should ignore:
No pain = no gain
Having fitness goals is great. Pushing yourself to do more and get stronger is also great. However, feeling sore, horrible and beat up the next day is not good and you should not be aiming for it. Your workouts should be challenging but your end goal should never be to feel so much pain as that suggests an injury. Moreover, feeling too much pain can actually demotivate and cause you to stop exercising, which is the opposite of what a workout plan should do.
Muscle soreness is caused by lactic acid build up
Many people think that the pain you experience after exercise is caused by the build up of lactic acid in their muscles. This is a wrong assumption. In reality, that soreness is a result of microscopic tears in your muscles that lead to inflammation and soreness. You can easily avoid this soreness by starting your exercise routine slowly and ramping it up as your muscles get stronger. Furthermore, you can switch up your exercises regularly to give your muscles time to heal and get some rest.
Long hours at the gym = getting fit
Sadly, there is no magic method or silver bullet that will whip your body into shape. However, healthy exercise does not mean spending countless hours at the gym every day. Actually, new research suggests that even 20 minutes of exercise per day can give you the results you want. A fast and efficient way to get in shape is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You can read more about it here.
Check out this video for an example of an HIIT 20 minutes exercise:
You need sports drink while exercising
Sports drinks are indeed important for improving performance of athletes performing high intensity workouts for longer than an hour a day. However, if you are only running, biking or doing other low intensity workouts, there is no need for sports drinks at all. Actually, since some sports drinks are high in calories, they can hinder your weight loss efforts.
Pre-workout stretching prevents injury
Stretching and warming up are two different things. While it is absolutely important to warm up before strenuous exercises, stretching has little to no benefit at all for your body before the workout. With that said, you should spend a good time stretching after each workout.
Exercising only builds muscles
When I first started going to the gym, my weight went up and I freaked out! My body was building muscles so I was not losing weight at the beginning. However, after doing my InBody test a few times, I found out that the more muscle mass I had, the less the fat percentage was. So yes, exercising regularly will help you lose weight, eventually. You just need to be patient and couple your workout routine with a healthy diet.
See Also: 7 Reasons Why You Should Take Up Pilates
You have to take supplements to build muscles
If you are a body builder or a strength trainer, you might need supplements to help you build muscles. However, if you are trying to stay fit and healthy, chugging down those protein shakes is not really necessary. You can always get enough protein from the food you eat without adding unneeded calories to your diet.
Exercising can be dangerous when you get older
Many people believe that starting to exercise when you get older is dangerous. In reality, it is never ever too late to begin a proper workout regimen. The only thing you need to be cautious about is the intensity and the regimen itself. You just need to find an workout that has the right impact level for your age and condition.
Working out at the gym is better than at home
Here is what it really boils down to: it doesn’t matter where you workout out as long as you stick to it and do it right! If you can motivate yourself at home, that’s really great. However, if you need a class or a trainer to keep you on track, then by all means hit the gym. It is all about your motivation and determination.
What other exercise myths have you heard about? Please don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comment section below.