There are plenty of tall tales that make their way around the gym about better ways to stay healthy, lose weight, or get stronger. Some are worse for you than others. More importantly certain tales may sound true but are far from it. Here are 7 common fitness myths so you know the difference between rumor and reality.
- Caffeine Can Stay- Most people need their daily pick me up so just because you are concerned about your health doesn’t mean you have to throw your French press in the garbage. Caffeine is a wonder food that can increase your gains and even help with sore muscles. Stay away from the cappuccinos! Stick to black coffee, plain or green tea. Here is a helpful chart detailing the relationship between calories and caffeine. Certain multivitamins can also be a great source of energy for pre and post workout boosts.
- No Such Thing as Spot Reduction- Sadly it's true; no matter how many crunches you do science has proven that without a long term exercise plan and proper diet you won’t be seeing your abs any time soon.
- Exercise Is Not An All Day Metabolism Boost- One commonly held belief about exercise has been busted for quite some time now. It is important to note that even if your heart is still racing from your workout, diet is still the most important factor in maintaining overall health. Evidence does suggest however that simply standing for 2 hours a day may help maintain better sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Cardio Is Good For Bodybuilders Too- Cardio is important to heart health and overall wellness. There is some truth to the myth that cardio can negatively affect lean muscle gain but it requires long, steady periods of exercise more akin to a marathon runner than a weekend warrior. If you are looking to maintain muscle but lose weight 20 to 30 minutes on the treadmill, 3 times a week will be your sweet spot.
- Don't Stop Eating Just Because the Sun Set- A common and pervasive myth in the fitness world is the idea that all meals must be eaten within a certain time frame or else your metabolism will not be able to keep up. Although there is no evidence that supports this claim, many people find that they eat heavier at night when they are winding down and not likely to burn calories with activity. On the other hand, people who eat breakfast are less likely to eat throughout the day.
- Low Weight, High Reps Alone Won't Tone- If you are seeking to add definition over bulk it won’t help to use low weight, with high reps. Increasing the amount of weight lifted often has the most readily apparent effect on body size and shape but more reps can increase endurance and helps to improve overall form. The toning people usually experience is not from the exercise itself but from the loss of body fat which reveals more of the muscle.
- An Hour a Day Will Not Always Keep the Doctor Away- Many believe that the only way to maintain their health is to power through 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training to do so. There is mounting evidence though that less may be more. Interval training for 1 minute or HIIT repeated for 20 minutes may amount to the same work people put into an hour at the gym.
Sometimes it can be hard to follow the science instead of the “gurus” that haunt your local gym. The best defense is to seek up to date information on the best workout techniques and diet plans as supported by the experts.
Natural Genetics Health Blog