Monday, August 22, 2011

Separating Fitness Fact From Fiction

Hey fitness geeks! How's it going? I'm back and ready to challenge all you hard core fitness buffs with a little fitness true and false. Think you know the difference between what's true and what's false when it comes to exercise? You might be surprised. One fitness fact that everyone can agree on is that exercise is a key factor in losing weight. Working out will not only help you lose the inches & pounds, it's also good for your heart and your bones, and it gives you a mood boost, too! But some fitness facts that sound true may actually be myths or only partly true. If you want to be successful at slimming down and staying fit, it’s important to know the difference between fitness facts and fiction. Below you'll find some common fitness beliefs, some are fact, some are fiction, but can you separate the two?

Separating Fitness Fact From Fiction
10 Fitness Facts and Myths

1. Stretch Before You Exercise
Although fitness experts have debated about the best time to stretch, the consensus is that it’s better, safer, and more effective to stretch after you have warmed up your muscles. Before exercise you can warm up with easy movements that prepare you for exercise. For example, if you are going on a run, kick things off by walking first, then you can stretch your already warmed-up muscles.

2. No Pain, No Gain
Forget this masochistic mantra! It's just not true. Never exercise through pain unless you have a known injury and it is part of a supervised rehabilitation program. In most cases, pain is a warning of an injury. You don't need to go to extremes or be sweating profusely to get a great workout either. The truth is, you can get plenty of gain from 30 minutes of brisk walking.


3. Running on a Treadmill Is Safer Than Outdoors
Running on a treadmill at your gym may seem safer, but that’s not necessarily so. It depends on the treadmill, your condition, and your form. Running incorrectly on a treadmill can be just as stressful as running outside. If you’re not careful, using a treadmill can result in an injury or a fall. Treadmill or no treadmill, good advice is to make sure you check with your doctor if you have any physical or medical issues before you start any running program.

4. Crunches Get Rid of Belly Fat
Abdominal crunches alone won’t cut it if you’re trying to lose belly fat. Spot reducing just does not work. You can't have a six-pack abdominal region just by doing a lot of abdominal exercises, a great deal is controlled by diet and genetics. Losing weight requires taking in fewer calories as well as burning more calories. One pound of belly fat equals about 3,500 calories. And not all of the fat "burned" by exercise will come from the belly.

5. Aerobic Exercise Boosts Your Metabolism
This fitness fact is mostly true. The benefits of a regular aerobic exercise program for about 30 minutes four or five times per week includes long-lasting benefits for your metabolism and will help you maintain a healthy weight. Although you only burn calories for a limited time after aerobic exercise, the aerobic boost to your metabolism continues to help lower your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. (Remember that losing weight usually requires that you eat fewer calories, too.)

6. Lifting Weights Will Make You Bulky
So not true! Women are afraid that if they lift weights they will bulk up, but the reality is that most women will simply look toned. It's difficult for a woman to bulk up because women lack the amount of testosterone that a man has. Lifting weights could make you bulky if that's the look you’re going for, but you need to specifically train for that goal. Limited weight training a few times a week will increase bone strength and muscle mass without obvious bulkand without a lot of heavy sweating.

7. If You're Not Sweating, You're Not Working
This is one of the biggest myths of all. How much you sweat depends on many factors, including your basic metabolism, how much you weigh, and where you're exercising. You can get plenty of exercise benefits, including weight loss, without sweating heavily, although sweat does help to cool the body. Too much sweating can actually be dangerous, sweating can cause dehydration, dizziness, and blood pressure problems, especially for the elderly or for pregnant women.

8. Sports Bras Just Prevent Painful Bounce Sports bras help prevent pain brought on by bouncing during running or other aerobic activities, but they also provide protection and muscle support — and help with posture. Fitness fact: A good sports bra should be properly fitted and allow enough ventilation to prevent sweating and chafing. Psychology also plays a role in why many women prefer to wear a sports bra while working out — you may feel less self-conscious wearing a bra that banishes the bounce.