02 JANUARY 2014
Think you know the facts about getting fit? It might surprise you to find out many are actually fiction… HELLO! Online has debunked the top five exercise myths.
1. Doing sit-ups will get rid of stomach fat
Sit-ups definitely help strengthen the muscles around the midsection and improve posture, but being able to actually see the abdominal muscles depends on the overall percentage of body fat and the fat around your stomach. In order to burn fat, you need to create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training elements, which helps to decrease your overall body fat content.
2. Lifting weights will make women bulky
This is a common myth. Men build muscles faster because they have testosterone – women have to seriously overload the muscles to create bulk. Strength training actually helps decrease body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently. So, ladies, don't put down the dumbbells.
3. The cardio machine tells you the amount of calories you're burning
The cardio machine can be highly inaccurate when it comes to counting calories. Some don't ask for your weight or sex, never mind your body fat composition. Even when they do ask you to input these details, the estimate could be off by tens to hundreds of calories. Instead, go by the rule that on average, most people burn about 100 calories per mile walked or ran. Or if you want to invest in your fitness regime, buy a good heart rate monitor that estimates calories burned based on your actual workout intensity.
4. If I work out, I can eat what I want
Going to the gym doesn't negate eating junk food or going over your calorie limit. Experts even say that weight loss is 80 per cent diet and only 20 per cent exercise. Exercise makes you lose weight quicker and helps you to sustain weight loss, but cannot undo a bad diet. Instead, combine your fitness regime with a calorie-controlled diet.
5. Rest days are pointless
Rest days are actually very useful in helping achieve your long-term fitness goals. Everytime you place physical stress on your body, it needs sufficient time to recover and bounce back stronger. Without rest days, your body doesn't get time to recover. You are also more likely to lose motivation if you exercise every day. Never work out more than five days a week and try to exercise either on alternate days or on weekdays only.