It’s already 2016 and the things that were believed to be true before can just be myths today. There are a lot of myths when discussing health and fitness. Others are deeply rooted in one’s culture, while others are just hearsay that just happened to be spread from generation to generation.
But, as the Internet continues to give us a vast and endless sea of information for free, not all we see and read online is true. “We have greater access to information, but it isn’t always accurate,” says Jessica Matthews, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Information, especially about this topic can also be outdated over time. Since it is concerning the health of human beings, studies, researches and experiments are continuously being made to ensure that the knowledge we have stays true. Today, more and more new researches are overturning long held beliefs about health, fitness and exercising.
Here are the Top 10 Myths that you should stop believing today.
Myth 1: Crunches are the key to flat abs.
Crunches may be one of the most popular and go to exercises of those who want to lose the belly flab, but, sadly, it is not the best way to trim down the stomach and mid abdominal section.
“Since they don’t burn off a lot of calories, they don’t help in a major way with fat loss,” says Wayne Westcott, PhD, professor of exercise science at Quincy College in Quincy, Massachusetts. There is also the danger of possibly damaging or hurting your spine if you fail to do it in the correct position and form.
If you want to focus on your stomach area, you should engage your entire core by doing planks and bridges.
Myth 2: The more you sweat, the more you burn.
They say that sweat is the tears your fats release when they cry while you exercise. It may be encouraging for you to look at it that way but the sweat you excrete don’t necessarily measure the calories you burn during work out.
“Sweat is a biological response that cools your skin and regulates internal body temperature,” Matthews says. There are other factors to consider that contributes to your sweating like the temperature in your exercise location, overheated gym or studio, the weather, and so on.
Myth 3: Stretching helps your body recover faster.
Although there is no significant changes in the blood lactate levels if stretching is done after a workout session with the hopes of recovering faster, doing so can lessen the chances of injury. And, if it makes you feel good and relaxed after an intense run or exercise routine, there’s no reason why you should stop doing it. Plus, stretching out while the body is still warm from the work out is the best way to increase joint flexibility, says Dr. Westcott.
Myth 4: You need to sweat for 45 minutes to get a health benefit.
The development of 5 minute (or even a minute) exercises are made for a reason: no matter how long or short the duration of your routine is, it can result to good effects to your body.
In fact, more and more studies are pointing to the power of short workouts—and some even suggest that quickie sessions could be better for you.
But, don’t use this reason to slack off and lose focus! Remember that you still need to get more active most days of the week if you’re trying to drop some pounds.
Myth 5: The longer time you spend in a gym, the better.
This myth is wrong in many levels.
First off, the recommended average times you should be working out (in a gym or not) is just 3-5 days per week. This is because you need to allot time for your body to rest and recover. “Scheduling in rest days is crucial,” stresses Los Angeles-based celebrity trainer Ashley Borden. “Your body needs to recover, especially after a tough session.” If you push yourself to work out every day, chances are you could have an injury or over-train yourself, which keeps your muscles from rebounding and your body from improving.
Secondly, more gym time, but the exercises are not varied and repetitive, it will be useless and no results can be made. “If you don’t mix things up,” Valerie Waters, personal trainer to Jennifer Garner, warns, “doing the same training pattern can lead to injuries.”
Myth 6: You need to drink eight glasses of water a day.
While the fact that you should be hydrating your body throughout the day remains true, not everyone’s hydration needs are the same. Every person varies on their water need for a day, some need 8 glasses of water, some need more while some can do okay with just 5.
How can you know if you need to drink more? Your pee should be pale yellow in color. The darker your urine, the more hydration you need.
Myth 7: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Every meal of the day is important. General rule of thumb, eat when you are hungry. Don’t force yourself to eat heaps during the morning and lesser during the night. As long as you eat healthy by staying away from the preserved food and have a balanced diet, expect that your health will be at its best regardless of which time of the day you ate the most.
Myth 8: Working out specific areas of your body
Sadly, that’s not how our body works. If you want a smaller tummy, less flabby arms and a firmer butt, you need to work your whole body out. While doing muscle-specific workouts can make your muscles stronger, it grows and gets stronger underneath whatever fat you have, doing so can’t remove the fat on that specific area.
Myth 9: Losing weight depends entirely on working out.
You can never ‘undo’ a sinful meal you divulged no matter how hard you train and make up for it. Most studies show that working out alone, without dietary changes, won’t actually have any noticeable weight-loss effects.
So if you really want to lose weight, exercising and eating healthy are the ways to go. If the two are compared, you are more likely to lose weight by eating less without exercise, than exercising without eating less.
Myth 10: Thinner people are healthy, heavier people are not.
The standard of being physically healthy should be debunked. You can never tell a person is healthy by just looking at their bodies. Skinny people are not always healthy and the other way around.
Don’t pressure yourself to look like a supermodel to be able to feel healthy and fit. Hard rock abs, flat stomach and toned arms and thighs do not tantamount to overall health and well being.