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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Fitness Myths and Truths

In health and fitness, there is so much information and it seems to change so quickly, sometimes you can’t separate fact from fiction. Here are a few common myths and surprising truths for the next time you hit the gym or the trail.

The first myth is that crunches are all you need to get flat abs. But crunches aren’t the best way to get a six pack because they don’t burn off a lot of energy and don’t help much with fat loss. Planks and bridges are much more effective than crunches in whittling your waistline. Remember that abs are made in the kitchen too. No matter how many exercises you do, if you’re eating crappy food, you won’t be able to see those chiseled abs.

Another myth is that the more you sweat, the more calories you’re burning. Sweat is just a natural response to attempt to regulate your body temperature and cool you down. Just because you’re particularly drenched after a session could just mean it was especially warm outside or in the studio.

You may avoid running because you’ve heard it is bad for your knees. While it can be a stress on your joints, studies show that runners’ knees are no less healthy than non-runners’ knees. Experts recommend doing a full body strength workout twice a week in addition to your running schedule to build muscles and support joints. This will reduce your chance of getting injured.

Lastly, you may have heard that stretching helps your body recover from a grueling workout faster, but that simply isn’t true.

Now that a few fitness myths have been busted, how about some surprising truths?

Did you know that skipping sleep can cause weight gain? Studies show that women who slept less than seven hours were more likely to gain weight because sleep deprivation increases the production of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger.

It seems yoga is in the news lately claiming to be a big calorie burner, but it simply isn’t true. Yoga is more for toning, increasing flexibility and strength but doesn’t burn many calories.

Lastly, don’t worry because lifting weights won’t bulk you up and make you look like a man. Women have less muscle tissue and produce lower levels or testosterone than men so they are less likely to gain significant muscles.


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