When it comes to myths, the fitness industry seems to have a lot of them. For every well-known fitness fact there are likely to be a dozen exercise myths out there, and knowing the difference between the two can be difficult. Here are five of the most common exercise myths that could be holding you back.
5 Common Exercise Myths
Myth #1: Cardio is Better than Strength Training
There is a common misconception that cardio is the superior method of exercise and that strength training is only good for getting big muscles, but these are both myths. You actually need both to be fit and strong. Strength training is much more effective at building muscle than cardio, and you need strength to perform most movements in life effectively.
While cardio is great for getting your heart rate up and improving your cardiovascular health and endurance, strength training is best for muscle development which increases your metabolism. This improves your body’s ability to burn fat which is helpful if you are trying to trim down. The moral of the story is, don’t neglect strength training.
Myth #2: Gaining Weight is Bad
Weight gain is often considered to be all bad. This myth comes from our society being obsessed with fat loss, which makes sense considering the high rates of obesity in our country. As well as misconceptions (made worse by social media) that being thin is a worthy goal to have. The problem with obsessing with the number on the scales is that your weight does not take into consideration your body composition, such as your bone density or lean muscle mass.
Muscle is dense and weighs more than fat. It’s possible to see your weight remains the same, or even increase if you increase your activity levels and incorporate strength training, even though you are healthier and fitter. That’s because the muscle you have gained will weigh more than any fat you may have lost. Instead measure your progress not by the number on the scales, but by how you feel, the healthy habits you are establishing, and if fat loss is a goal then how your clothes are fitting.
Myth #3: You Can Spot Reduce Fat
You may have seen a few magazine headlines over the years that promise to help you lose tummy fat or slim down your hips with a specific exercise routine. Don’t be sucked in by that. The reality is that there is no way that you can target fat loss to one specific area of your body. Everybody stores fat in different areas, and everybody loses fat differently. The only way to lose fat in one specific body part is to lose fat overall.
Myth #4: Kids Shouldn’t Lift Weights
For years there has been a myth that it’s bad for children and teenagers to do strength training There is lots of science and studies that prove strength training specifically designed for youth is healthy (and necessary) for kids and teenagers. Strength training can take the form of bodyweight exercises, as well as resistance training involving weighted objects. However, it’s important that youth are properly supervised by coaches specifically trained in coaching youth, that they learn how to perform movements safely, and that their program is specifically designed for youth (and is not a modified ‘adult’ program). Without these measures in place the risk of injury is high..
Myth#5: You Only Need to Exercise Two Days a Week
Some say two days, others say five, and many people believe that one day on, one day off is the way to go. These are all myths. The truth is that everybody should be exercising every single day. This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym and throw heavy weights around for hours every day, but it is important that you get some quality movement into your heart rate up daily.
By changing the way you see these five common exercise myths, you could change your health and fitness for the better. For more helpful blog articles, click here.