It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the contradictory information out there about exercise. There are a lot of myths and persistant ideas that aren’t just wrong—they could be harmful. Read on below for five fitness myths—busted!
1. If you want to lose weight, you have to stop eating carbs.
Many people go low or no-carb in an attempt to slim down. This can lead to feeling sluggish during the day. It isn’t about swearing off carbohydrates in general, but ensuring you’re eating the right foods at the right times. Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy, and for most exercise programs, they are your body’s first source of fuel. Eating the right carbohydrates like whole grains, beans and vegetables throughout the day can provide you with the energy you need to get through your workout.
2. “I’m injured. I shouldn’t workout at all.”
It certainly depends on the severity of your injury. Any kind of internal injury is certainly reason enough to stay out of the gym for a while. The same goes for head injuries. However, if you have somewhat of a minor injury (let’s say for example, a sprain) it can be rather easy to modify your workouts to ensure you’re either still getting your heart rate up or working out other parts of your body.
3. The morning is the best time to train.
Working out as early as possible allows your body to spend more time rebuilding and absorbing vitamins, nutrients, and protein to help you recover. However, what’s more important is maximizing the time that you do have. Depending on your schedule, you may find that workouts in the mid-afternoon or even at night work best for you. The key is finding a routine that works best for you and sticking to it. Listen to your body and when you have the most energy, you can really end up having an excellent workout!
4. Cardio is the only way to lose weight.
There is a common misconception out there that cardio workouts like running are the easiest way to burn calories. While cardio is a great way to burn calories, weight training can be more effective in burning calories because resistance training can keep your metabolism levels raised for 24 to 48 hours after the workout. So while cardio workouts can be a great burst of calorie burning fun, resistance training can actually burn more calories over an extended period of time.
5. Lifting weights will make me bulky.
When you think about weight training, it’s easy for images of big gigantic men grunting through bench presses to come to mind. However, lifting the right amount of weight and eating the right foods can contribute to a lean and toned look. Trainer Irene Lewis-McCormick commented on this in The Huffington Post, stating that “Men and women who train similarly have the ability to increase their muscular strength, but because women have lower l—evels of testosterone and fewer and smaller muscle fibers than men, they do not have the ability to increase muscle size the way men do.”