Myth or Fact: Fitness Edition
There’s a lot of talk out there about being fit but how much is really true? I’ve busted some common myths and approved some worthy facts about fitness that you might have heard around a few times before—take a look to find out whether or not to believe the hype. 🙂
1. Crunches are the key to flat abs.
Crunches, the most iconic abs exercise known to man, are NOT actually the key to flat abs! Crunches can help you tone your midsection, but they are not necessarily the BEST way to tone your midsection. Movements that involve your distal trunk (that’s your shoulders and butt, too) most effectively engage your core. With that said, if you’re looking for a good replacement to practice: planks are on the list as one of the most effective core exercises.
Most importantly, you should know that doing ab exercises won’t get you abs on its own. Ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen?” It’s true. In order to really see abs show through, you need to maintain a healthy diet in order to achieve low levels of body fat. But are abs really worth it? That’s a decision you need to make for yourself.
2. The more you sweat, the more you burn.
We’ve all experienced those workouts where we are completely drenched by the end. Sometimes we are just so much sweatier then usual. This does not mean you burned more calories. Sweat is a biological response that cools the skin and regulates the internal body temperature. So, what the extra sweat really means is that your internal body temperature reached a number higher than its equilibrium, and the body released sweat in order to restore its homeostatic balance.
3. The more gym time, the better
Going to the gym and working out is an awesome thing, but you have to be careful not to over train or injure yourself. Scheduling rest days is crucial! (for real) The human body needs time to recover. Injury and overtraining can both prevent the body’s muscles from rebounding and repairing, thus inhibiting the body from really improving. A beginner at the gym might consider working out every other day to prevent overtraining and/or injury. For the more advanced lifters and other practiced exercisers, one or two rest days per week should do the trick!
4. Skipping sleep can cause weight gain.
Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can be crucial to our wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can cause and/or increase in the production of the hormone Ghrelin. Ghrelin triggers hunger and increases appetite.
5. Lifting weights will make women “bulky”.
Its crazy how many women hide from heavy weights in fear of getting “too big” or “too bulky”. Women have much less muscle tissue and produce much lower levels of testosterone then men. Therefore, women are less physiologically prone to becoming big and “bulky”.
6. Stretching is essential for faster muscle recovery
Don’t get me wrong. Stretching is a wonderful, healthy thing to do. However, it does not, in fact, help you recover. Stretching does little to influence the blood lactate levels after a high-intensity work out. Lactate, or lactic acid, is what makes the body sore after an intense workout. Stretching is great in regards to increasing flexibility and range of motion, but when it comes to recovery, try cooling down with a 5-10 minute walk on the treadmill.
7. Exercise can be as effective as medication for reliving short-term anxiety
Exercising has been proven to cause a significant decrease in anxiety. Exercise allows the body to release endorphins, which are chemicals that relieve pain. Exercising can also give the mind a break from the stresses of daily life. It also often provides a sense of accomplishment as a mood booster, thus relieving a lot of negativity and anxiety!