With a subject like fitness where there are lots of “experts”, but not many experts, there will always be a lot of disagreement about what’s right and what’s wrong. There are so many myths about exercise and fitness – what works, what doesn’t, what happens – thatit can be really confusing.
Here’s 5 of the biggest exercise myths that have definitely been debunked:
Sit-ups / Crunches Get rid of Belly Fat
They don’t. They help to condition and tone the underlying muscles, and they may help to give you a flatter stomach through tightening the area, however they’ll have a negligible impact on any subcutaneous fat. To get rid of that, you need to eat a more sensible diet.
Steady Cardio Work is the Best Way to lose Weight
Lots of people think that running for miles on end is the best way to lose weight. It isn’t if you want to lose weight through running, you need to smash out sprints like they’re going out of fashion. Fartlek Running is much more efficient at helping you burn calories than just a steady pace.
Running on a Treadmill is Safer for Your Knees than Running on a Road
Ultimately, damage to your knees when running is done by your body weight crashing down through a joint many times over a period of time. That’s going to happen whether you’re on the road or a treadmill.
Women Build Muscle Bulk if they Lift Heavy Weights
Without taking massive amounts of testosterone and vast protein supplements, women don’t get big just by lifting weights. This misconception often means that women use 1KG weights in the gym for resistance for fear of becoming masculine. Don’t worry, life weights that challenge you and you’ll get a better impact.
Stretching Before a Workout Prevents Injury
Actually, if the first thing you do when you walk into a gym is some extreme stretches, things are going to get bad pretty quickly. If anything, stretching before you work out is going to do more harm than good. What you should be doing is:
- Warm up
- Cool Down
Missing out on any of those steps is what increases your risk of injury.
What are your favourite (or least favourite) fitness myths? Tell us below.