As you keep interacting with different people, you realize that there are many myths yet to be busted from people’s minds! Though it seems to be a never ending process to correct people with regard to their misconceptions and beliefs in the context of fitness & health, it gives me great satisfaction to enlighten others, as it’s our health after all! So, why not take time to list down 15 fitness myths that I still hear from people on a daily basis?
Myth 1: The Only Fitness Measure Is Weighing Scale!
Many of us, who are on a fitness journey and aiming for a particular goal, get onto the weighing scale almost daily. Don’t we? But, we seldom realize that tracking weight is not the only measure of fitness. Of course, this helps to keep track one of the body composition parameters, but checking it frequently and checking only your weight to test your progress is not right. There are other fitness parameters which you might be improving in disguise and which you are not aware of to be happy about. Take a look at https://fit-trim.com/2019/12/19/how-fit-are-you/ and also checkout the video, which summarizes the major fitness components you can keep track of, if you want to check your fitness levels.
Some of the other parameters which are not categorized as fitness components, but are improved as you start working out include: you feel happier than usual, your energy levels increase, your skin health & brain health improve a lot, your sleep quality improves and of course, you become more calm and relieved. In short, though “weight loss” is not an immediate result of your fitness journey, “health gain” (improvement in your health) often happens immediately. It is just that, we are so busy in checking weight loss progress, that we often miss out on other exercise benefits we reap.
Myth 2: I Have Bad Knees, I Cannot Exercise!
If you are the one who has bad knees and did not try exercising with the fear of damaging your knees even more, then you are missing many benefits here! Exercising is good because it results in movement of muscles in your body which leads to your body adapting to any kind of bodily movements you might come across in your life and any kind of stress your might undergo. This way, you don’t have to deal with pain no matter how hard you are working. This explains why, choosing the right kind of exercises and intensity and doing them with right technique actually eases your knee pain.
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Of course, it depends on the level of knee damage and which part of the whole capsule is faulty. First step is to talk to your doctor, get any physical therapy needed to get the muscles around the knee going. Then, if your doctor gives green signal to start exercising, then you can start off right away. Please take care to start with low intensity exercises for your knee and it is always better to do under the guidance of a trainer as he/she can correct the technique. Workouts which does not involve your lower body muscles actively can anyway be performed without any risk.
Myth 3: If It’s Not Difficult To Follow, It’s Not A Good Diet For Weight Loss!
We often read stories that people write regarding how hard they worked on their “strict” diet and lost weight. Two things we miss here. One, is he/she able to maintain the weight even after “ending” the strict diet followed? Two, is he/she able to continue the diet as it is meant to be healthy?
How do you know if a diet is suitable for you? Simple! Ask yourselves if you can continue that diet life long. Because, any food habit that you force yourself into, if not liked by you and if it’s not possible to continue on that diet, it’s not for you! Two rules for the ONLY good diet for weight loss. 1) Eat Clean for the quality component of food and 2) Listen to your body for the quantity component of your food.
In short, your food chart should not be too restrictive for you to be consistent with it. The more simpler it is, the more chances of you sticking to it! Checkout the video to know how to eat right and clean!
Myth 4: Core Means Abdominal Muscles!
When you hear “engage your core” (or) “keep your core tight” from your trainer / anyone from the exercise videos you see, how many of you have just concentrated on your abdomen? This is the most common misconception. Abdominal muscles (Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis, External Obliques and Internal Obliques) are just one group of muscles among many of the core muscles. Some of the other core muscles include erector muscles of the spine, muscles of the pelvic girdle, some gluteal muscles and few other back muscles. The inter-coastal muscles in your rib cage which are engaged as you breathe are also considered as core muscles.
The major functionality of core is to stabilize your body when extra forces are applied onto it (or) when in motion. This is the reason, why you need to engage your core in ever possible movement on a daily basis.
Myth 5: Lifting Heavy Weights Is The Only Way To Strengthen Your Body
Gym is definitely not the only place to build a strong body. Of course, lifting weights creates a resistance against which your muscles work and therefore build strong enough to handle the resistance in future. Now here, weights are just a form of resistance you are using. It can be any home based equipment too (or) your body weight too. In fact, body weight workouts engage many other muscles passively, apart from the targeted muscles. You can always be creative in ways to add resistance while working out. You need to just make sure to add resistance with proper progression, else you might end up in injuries.
Myth 6: You Need To Eat ONLY/MAJORLY Protein After Your Workout
Though protein is the major building block for your muscles, you need to understand that your body needs a balanced meal even after your workout, like any other meal. Like you make sure to give enough protein to your body (at least 1-1.5 g of protein per kg of your body weight, based on the intensity of your strength training), you also need to make sure to provide other major and minor nutrients too, as you have also used them up (more than usual) while working out. So, please also keep a check on your intake of water, vitamins and minerals & also carbohydrates for sure. For example, fruits & vegetables play a very major role in replenishing your body. But, many often miss these two components in a hurry to eat more and more of only protein.
In short, just plan every meal of yours such that you have a (almost) balanced portion of all the major and minor nutrients.
Myth 7: Do Ab Workouts To Reduce Belly Fat
This is the most prevalent myth. Targeted workouts are always beneficial to strengthen that particular muscle group, but not to lose fat in that particular area of your body. In short, ab workouts work to strengthen your abdominal muscles but not to reduce your belly fat. To reduce fat in any part of your body, total body workouts and cardio workouts are the one to checkout. Though your ab workouts might help passively in reducing the fat around your belly, the major result you get is strengthening of your abdominal muscles. Of course, not to forget to eat clean, which is equally important not only to reduce belly fat, but to reduce overall body fat.
Checkout the video below for some core + cardio workouts that might help you here!
Myth 8: I Didn’t Sweat Today As I Did Not Workout Enough!
We often find people after the workout session wondering why they did not sweat much through they trained hard that day. Here, you need to note that both the amount of sweat and the duration after which you start sweating varies for every individual. This depends a lot on the environment where you are working out, the kind of clothes you are wearing, the responsiveness of the sweating (cooling) system in your body, your hydration levels on that particular day, etc., So, you don’t have to measure the number of calories you have burnt based on the amount of sweat you have produced. So, go ahead and workout to your best to feel satisfied enough by the end of your session!
Myth 9: Working Out “Everyday” Is Not Good!
We often see people having concerns to workout daily as they fear it might harm, their bodies out of exhaustion. The truth is that your body works the best when it is exercised in various functional ways and this can be surely done on a daily basis without getting exhausted. You can checkout this video to get a clear understanding on how to workout daily (which is the best choice for your body) and yet not feel fatigue and sore the entire week.
Myth 10: I Am Old. It’s Just Walking That I Can Do!
As known, fitness is for anyone and everyone. To be fit enough, just walking isn’t sufficient for sure. You just need to know how far you can go in your workout time. Doing more than what your body can “adapt” to in your age can cause injuries. This is where you need to keep a check on “progression”. Once you start slow and progress your workouts slowly enough for your body to adapt and build your muscles stronger each time. If you are not sure of what to do and how much to do, please do exercise under the guidance of a certified fitness trainer, but please do not limit yourself to just walking. Unless your health limits you to being on bed for rest, your age does not come in the way of working on your body!
You can checkout this article to know more about personal training: https://fit-trim.com/2019/12/14/what-personal-training-does-to-you/
Myth 11: I Don’t Have Time To Exercise
This is the most common reason we hear from people on a daily basis. This is a myth in itself. Though it is good to exercise for a minimum of 30 – 45 minutes a day, it is better to exercise for even 15 minutes than leaving your body inactive. Prioritizing self care through exercising, should be the first thing on your checklist while scheduling your day. Fixing a slot for your workout in a day and adjusting every other task accordingly is the only way to live long and healthy.
When you are stuck with a busy schedule, workout for the maximum time possible, even if it is for 5 – 10 minutes. Making time to exercise is easier when you think it as a given thing, like your office work (or) your meals in a day. Don’t let this myth stop you from getting fitter.
Myth 12: Doing A Full Squat Might Hurt Your Knees (or) Back
We all know squats as a very basic and also the best workout for strengthening your legs. Many people start from doing a mini squat, then progress to a half squat and then just stick to half squats itself. Please go ahead and try a full squat and do them everyday. There is no harm in doing a full squat down to your heels. This is not suggested for someone with a weak lower back or bad knees. Unless you have one of these conditions, you can try a full squat and even do it daily. Of course, if you are finding any sharp pain in the joints when doing this, you need to get it checked, because this should not be causing any pain in general. Also, your core muscles are engaged much more in full squat than in a half squat. So, reap the benefits of doing a full squat and don’t limit yourself to just half of it!
Myth 13: White Rice Is Bad For Health
Rice is not bad for health and of course, the same applies to white rice too. The composition of nutrients might vary based on how polished on unpolished the rice is and based on that is the carbohydrate content. As we know, carbohydrates are the major source of energy for our daily activities. Unless you almost don’t move in a day and your physical activity is almost nil, eating rice is just giving your body carbohydrates like from any other carb food. As it’s Glycemic Index is high, it provides you instant bouts of energy you need in your daily activities. But, if you sit most of the day and you have the least physical activity, then white rice might not do good for you.
In short, you don’t have to give up white rice if you need to lose weight. Taking white rice in required quantities, making it more healthy by adding extra vegetables, less oil and working out daily should be very much okay for any common person.
It’s high time we come out of these fitness myths and get fit without any misconceptions!
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