Here are a few rumors you may hear at the gym:
“You need more cardio!”
“Decrease the cardio and increase strength training.”
“Quit the carbs.”
“Running burns the most fat.”
When it comes to fitness and working out, there’s a lot of hearsay out there and sometimes it's hard to know what to believe.
OOMPH to the rescue! We’re here to set the record straight on these 9 fitness myths below, so you’ll know the hogwash from all the rest.
Myth 1 – No pain no gain.
The phrase “no pain no gain” is common to hear, often hollered by a coach at the end of practice to his squad of teen superstars.
While a little discomfort is okay, pain is often the body’s way of warning the brain that something is wrong. Pain often means stop, monitor your condition, and speak with a doctor or trainer. So pay attention!
Myth 2 – I’m too old for this.
No way, you are not too old! Quite the contrary, studies have shown that it's never too late to start working out and anyone can reap the benefits.
As we age, exercise provides many benefits like improved balance, strength, and coordination while reducing the risk of bone and muscle diseases (among many others).
Myth 3 – Lifting heavy weights bulks you up.
Many people (especially females/those born with XY chromosomes) are afraid that if they lift weights, they’ll get big bulky muscles – not exactly the look they are aiming for.
But, testosterone production is a huge factor in one’s capacity for muscle growth, and since (generally speaking) women don’t produce as much testosterone as men, this should bring relief knowing that they won't turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight.
Myth 4 - Excessive endurance exercise is bad for your heart.
It can be true that endurance athletes (such as marathon runners) that train and compete vigorously for years and years may have higher rates of heart problems.
But, what is excessive to one may be recreational for another. For the general public, the American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
Other professionals agree that the general public should limit endurance exercise to 30-50 minutes per day, keep to gradual intensity increases, and take a day (or two) off per week to avoid stressing your cardiovascular system.
Myth 5 - Stretching decreases my risk of injury.
Contrary to what many believe, static stretching before exercising is out. The main goal of stretching is to increase flexibility – and unless you’re a gymnast or dancer, more injuries would be prevented by better warmups and strength training than by static stretching.
Dynamic stretching, however – movement-based stretches that prepare your muscles for movement – is recommended and has proven to give a decent warmup and gentle stretch that aids with injury prevention.
Myth 6 - Cardio burns fat.
Well, kind of. Cardio burns calories first, and then fat if necessary.
Cardio exercise raises your heart rate and body temperature as your body works to supply your muscles with blood and oxygen. Your body needs fuel to do this and first, your body will burn carbs and if need be, it can dip into the fat reserves after the carbs are used up.
But, if you are trying to lower your body fat, consuming fewer calories than you burn might be a more effective way than simply focusing on cardio.
Myth 7 - Morning workouts are better for your metabolism.
Have you heard the rumor that if you exercise in the morning, you jumpstart your metabolism and so burn more calories during the day?
Research shows that for those with high blood pressure, your blood pressure remains lower for up to 9 hours after a workout, so this myth can be somewhat true for you.
But for the rest of us, there is exactly zero evidence on this and the best time to workout is precisely anytime that suits your schedule best.
Myth 8 – If I workout, I can eat what I want.
There are some folks out there who believe that if you work out you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight.
Exercise certainly is part of losing or maintaining a healthy weight but research shows that 70-80% of what happens with your weight is a direct result of nutrition, not exercise. So beware – the chips and dip have a lot more to do with your waistline than the treadmill does!
Myth 9 – Sports drinks are the best way to rehydrate.
If we are talking about rehydration (not dehydration) following an extra strenuous workout, a sports drink can help restock, good carbs, protein, and other supplements that can enhance recovery.
Other experts believe better rehydration comes from adding a dab of pink Himalayan sea salt to water – it helps replenish even more of what you're sweating out.
But, the best way to rehydrate is to stay hydrated and drinking water during your workout is one of the most effective ways to do that, naturally replenishing what you're losing in real-time.
So, there you have it – 9 myths busted!
Sometimes it takes repetition to get old ideas out of your head. Gentlemen, you are not too old! And ladies, you’re not going to get bulky by lifting weights!
The OOMPH app puts fun and effective workouts in the palm of your hand! If these busted myths have given you a passion to get moving, download the app and join us today!