Was surfing the Net as usual, and happen to chance upon this article – Fitness Myths – The Dirty Truths. Thought it might be useful to share with everyone else, after considering the misconceptions people have about exercising, especially newcomers who just started exercising.
Myth #1: Doing crunches or working on an ab machine will help you lose belly fat.
This one is absolutely not true. A lot of this myth also stems from those late night commercials featuring 8 pack abdominals, and advertising that perfect ab machine. The only thing an ab machine might help improve is your posture and strengthening the muscles around your mid section. They will not allow you to burn off the belly fat.
In order to see the abdominal muscles on your stomach you must lose the excess belly fat which comes from a combination of cardiovascular and strength training. This type of training will decrease your body fat content, making it easier to accent your stomach muscles.
Myth #2: A cardiovascular or aerobic workout will boost your metabolism for hours afterwards.
This myth is actually true, but it may not be true to the extent that you want it to be. Although your metabolism will burn at a slightly higher rate after an aerobic workout, experts say that the amount of calories burnt is not all that significant. In reality you only burn on average an extra 20 calories a day. Overall it is not even considered as a part of your daily caloric burn.
Myth #3: Running on a treadmill puts less strain on your knees than running on pavement.
This is not true. Running on a treadmill puts the same amount of strain on your knees as running on pavement. This is because the force of your body weight on your joints causes the stress, not where or what you are running on. The best way to hinder knee problems is to vary your workout. Mix running with other cardio activities; a stationary bike, elliptical machine, or a rowing machine. This balance of cardio will relieve the stress from your knees.
Myth #4: Yoga can help with the strains of back pain.
This is true, however it depends what kind of back problems you are facing. If your back pain is muscle related then yes, yoga might be the answer for you. Some of the stretches and positions can help you to build a stronger core. However, if your back problems are related to injury (such as a ruptured disc for example), yoga is not your solution. What is worse is that doing yoga could actually make your injury worse. The best thing to do for back pain is to consult your doctor for the best solution before trying any type of exercise.
Myth #5: If you don’t sweat during a workout you are not benefiting from it.
This is not true. Sweat is a simple way of cooling the body down, it is not an indicator of exertion. There are a number of ways one can burn excess amounts of calories without even breaking a sweat. Try walking or light weight training. Both are great ways to burn off calories in which the majority of people hardly break a sweat at all.
Myth #6: Swimming is a great and easy way to lose weight.
This is true, but you have to swim for hours and hours of the day. Swimming is great for toning the muscles, increasing lung capacity, and relieving tension of the body. However, it is not the best thing to do if your intension is to lose weight. Since the buoyancy of the water supports your body quite significantly while you swim, you don’t get quite the same effect as if you were running. Swimming is also known to cause you to eat more than you normally would, so it is harder to stay on a healthy diet plan.
Myth #7: If you feel ok when working out, you aren’t overdoing it.
This is not true, and is a huge mistake for a lot of people. Most tend to over work themselves when starting a new work out program, or even when they are starting to get back into one where they first left off. This happens so often because we feel OK when we are working out. The overdoing it is not apparent until a day or two after your initial workout. Never try to duplicate a workout from where you left off. Your body will not be able to handle it, and you may not even start again. This goes for anyone starting a new workout program as well. Start slow, and work your way up or your body may face some real damage.
Myth #8: Machines are a safer way to exercise.
This is only true when taking your height and weight into perspective. Unless you have a coach that knows how to adjust the machine correctly for your height and weight, it is easy to misuse any form of exercise equipment. Your risk for injury is just as high as using any free weights or other exercise equipment if the machine you are using is not adjusted correctly.
Myth #9: No pain equals no gain.
This slogan is probably the biggest misconception of any workout myth. The truth is you should never feel pain while working out. Even though you may feel sore a few days after a workout, it should never initially be painful while doing any exercise. If you do feel pain you most likely already have an injury, or you are doing the exercise wrong. You should never work through the pain either. It is better to rest and wait until the pain is gone, or go consult with your doctor.
Yoda is probably right, don’t try. If you have any queries about exercising, always consult some form of expertise. Hot, tan and muscular guys wearing singlet at the pool/gym/track are probably not one of them. Consult our coach, Mr Steven Quek, during our training hours if you have any questions, especially on running and injuries.
Your friendly site admin.
(The full article can be access from: http://www.fitness.com/articles/276/fitness_myths_the_dirty_truths.php)