Fortunately, the world is full of certified trainers who can help us lose weight or tone up. Unfortunately, the world is also full of certified trainers who have conflicting personal opinions about the best ways to do it.
Athletes constantly receive confusing exercise advice, bizarre statements and conflicting information. To achieve your workout goals, you need to cut through the noise, learn what’s right for your body and avoid falling victim to any of the following myths. (See also Protect Yourself Against Fitness Gimmicks With “Muscle Myths.”)
If you want to lose weight, you must stop or limit eating.
When you don’t eat often or enough, your body holds on to fats and salts. You won’t lose weight this way. Eating often increases your metabolism. (Food Myths Busted: Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight.)
It’s not working if you don’t feel pain.
Don’t confuse pain with muscle burn. Burning muscles indicate that a workout is effective. But it’s never healthy to continue exercising when you feel real pain. If you do, you could seriously injure yourself and end up in the hospital. Stop exercising immediately when you begin to feel pain (not sore muscles). (Learn the difference: How to Judge the Seriousness of Pain During a Workout.)
Unless you want to end up in the ER, you’d better stretch.
Although it’s good to stretch before exercising, stretching isn’t a superhero move. Practicing a move your body isn’t used to can hurt you. It’s important to ease your body into new moves so you don’t injure yourself.
You’ve got to work out for a long time to get results.
Working out period! produces great results. Working out for an hour won’t turn your pot belly into a six-pack overnight. Exercise in moderation to regulate the body into losing weight in a healthy way.
Skinny people lose weight faster than fat people.
The truth is just the opposite. Individuals with a low BMI (skinny people) have a tougher time losing that last pound or so, whereas people with a high BMI lose weight much more quickly.
If you want to build muscle, you’ve got to take supplements.
It is not necessary to take supplements to build muscle. Simple muscle building exercises like Squats and Bench Presses are better than any supplement when a proper nutrition strategy is included.
As long as you work out regularly, you can do anything you want.
Just because you just burned off some calories doesn’t mean you should go out and inhale a bunch of new ones. Training your body to lose/maintain weight means eating healthy.
Crunches will get rid of belly fat.
Crunches and sit-ups do not burn body fat. They are muscle-building exercises. Fat-burning requires cardio exercises such as running and jumping jacks. (See also The Death of the Crunch?)
Once you lose weight, you’ll never have to work out again.
Once you lose weight, it is not good to stop exercising. Your body can negatively bounce back. Walking for 30 minutes a day is a great way to maintain your weight.