With so much information about fitness available on the internet, it can be tough to differentiate between what’s legitimate and what’s not. The following are some of the most common exercise myths out there. Buying into them could potentially do more harm than good to your overall fitness, so follow closely!
Exercise Myths too many People Believe
1. Cardio = Weight Loss = Fat Loss
Newcomers to the gym who are seeking to lose a few pounds will often spend hours and hours doing cardio. Months will go by, and they will have almost no results to show for their hard work. That’s because they’ve bought into one of the most common exercise myths ever: cardio alone will burn calories to cause weight loss.
Too much cardio can cause your body to burn too many calories, harming your metabolism in the process. The end result is little-to-no fat loss, and in the long-run, possibly even weight gain.
The truth is, weight can be lost simply by eating at a caloric deficit, which means eating fewer calories than you’d need to maintain your current body weight. Technically, no exercise is required (although cardio obviously helps burn more calories).
Instead of concentrating 100 percent on cardio, choose a fitness program that balances resistance training (like weightlifting) with cardio, and stick to a healthy, well-rounded diet (the most important part!). You’ll build a little bit of muscle, which is excellent for burning fat, while becoming slimmer in the process.
2. No Pain, No Gain
However, after doing the same exercises consistently, you may notice that your post-workout soreness is less severe or has even totally disappeared—and that’s not a bad thing! Your body is becoming fitter and stronger, so it’s not going to become fatigued as easily.
While a little bit of DOMS may make you feel like you’ve had a good workout, it’s not the only indicator. As long as you’re meeting your fitness goals, there’s no need to work yourself to the point that you can’t walk every time you go to the gym.
3. You can Target Fat on Specific Areas of the Body
When your body is in fat burning mode, it will burn fat all over, all at once. Some areas may slim down more quickly than others, but there’s no way to hyper-focus on your stomach, thighs or anywhere else.
4. Looking good is the only Reason to Exercise
If you’re happy with the way your body looks, great! But we’ve got news for you: you should still exercise.
Besides weight loss and muscle development, exercise can bring all sorts of positives to your life, including:
- Better self-esteem
- Higher energy levels
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases
- Improved memory and brain function
- More restful sleep
Remember, there are tons of other exercise myths floating around the internet. Whenever you see a claim about fitness that sounds questionable, look for studies to back it up before believing it.