There are tons of myths and lies in the fitness field. As people are becoming more aware of their overall health and fitness level, some of these myths are slowly fading away; while others seem to need more effort. We picked the top 5 fitness myths we hope you will stop believing!
Fitness Myth #1: Squats are bad for your knees
No, they are not! Squats are probably the best exercise to target your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Squatting is a functional move that helps build strength in the legs and hips. According to the Arthritis Foundation, stronger muscles mean more stable joints, so as long as you are squatting correctly, you will NOT harm your knees. Bottom line: squats are safe, you are just doing them wrong!
Fitness Myth #2: No pain, no gain
While it is true you need put in the effort in working out and in following a healthy, balanced diet; the ‘no pain, no gain’ statement poses a lot of danger. There is a difference between the usual muscle soreness that occurs after working out and the muscle / joint pain during exercising. Again, if your workout routine is causing you pain, you need to stop, check with your personal trainer if you are doing the exercises correctly; and take some time off to let your muscles recover. Rule of thumb: your fitness activity should NOT hurt or cause you pain while doing it.
Fitness Myth #3: Cardio Training
No one can deny the importance and the benefits of cardio training and like any exercise, cardio burns calories and thus will lead to fat loss. But will it lead to muscle loss too? Muscle mass loss occurs with cardio training in these cases: doing it too often, doing it for too long, and doing it on an empty stomach. In all cases, muscle loss is inevitable if your diet is low on protein. To preserve and increase your muscle mass, do not depend on cardio solely, incorporate strength training in your workout routine. Always remember: the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns at rest.
Fitness Myth #4: Spot reduction
This one is the most popular, so let’s get done with it. You can not choose which area to lose body fat from, so basically doing 1000 crunches in day will not help you lose your belly fat, but will rather strengthen the ab muscles underneath the fat layer! In order to lose fat, you should follow a workout routine that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training. This will decrease your overall body fat and eventually you lose the fat from the desired areas.
Fitness Myth #5: Eat less for weight loss
It is true fat loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. Eating too little, however, does more harm to your weight loss efforts than you know. Your body turns on its defense mechanism and enters into a starvation mode. This does not only lead to weight loss plateau and health issues (like lowered blood pressure), but your body will eventually conserve fat; making it more difficult to lose weight. And yes, you will probably re-gain all the kilos lost once you start eating normally!