Fitness is an ever-evolving industry, where one day's fact can become the next day's myth. That is why it is important to work whenever possible with certified trainers who keep up to date on the latest industry news.
Here are some common fitness myths and the truth about them:
- Myth #1: You can "target" areas of your body for weight loss.
- Fact: Actually, when you are talking about workouts, you are NOT able to target areas. Yes, you can tone muscle groups, but over those groups there is a layer of fat that you will have to burn and that is not something that is able to be targeted. Our bodies decide where they want to burn fat from, and often those areas we'd like to get rid of the most (belly, rear) are the last to have fat burned off.
- Myth #2: Running on a treadmill is easier on your knees than pavement.
- Fact: Nope, it's actually your weight that has the most impact on your knees. Gravity forces your weight down on your knees when you run, so it doesn't matter if you are on a treadmill or pavement because your weight remains the same on both.
- Myth #3: If you want the best way to lose weight, you need to drastically reduce your calories.
- Fact: Calories do impact the amount of weight that we gain or lose, but our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for and will begin to slow their metabolism and store fat if you drop your calories too low. Your best bet is to never dip below 1200 calories/day for a woman and 1800 calories/day for a man, and to eat well-balanced meals.
- Myth #4: Only fat people need to exercise.
- Fact: Exercise has health benefits that far exceed weight loss, and the Mayo Clinic estimates that over half of "normal sized" adults have more than 20 percent (for women) or 30 percent (for men) body fat. While they may "look" healthy, they still run the same risks that any other adult faces when their body fat is that high, including diabetes. Thus, people of every size should engage in regular exercise.
- Myth #5: Drinking tons of water will help you lose weight.
- Fact: You might burn a few extra calories running between the bathroom and the kitchen, but drinking water won't stop you from being hungry or help you to flush out fat. Scientists have determined that there is actually no real benefit to drinking excess water (except, of course, if you are sick), and that you should only drink when you are thirsty. 6-8 glasses of water per day is average.
What other myths have YOU run into?