All of us have heard a story that has been told so many times that we believe it to be true, even if we haven’t checked out the facts for ourselves. When it comes to the common fitness myths that are out here in the world, you may not have made it a point to go to a website like Snopes.com to see which ones are real and which ones are “urban legends”, so we’ve done some of the work for you.
Below, we’ve enclosed five myths that are commonly told as it relates to fitness; ones that may be keeping you from reaching your ultimate goals:
Fitness Myth 1: You need to stretch before you work out
Who hasn’t heard this one, right? Now, here’s the thing: It can’t do a ton of harm to stretch first, but it’s actually more important that you do it after your exercise. Stretching is great for increasing your flexibility and range of motion, so it’s ideal after you’ve given your muscles and joints a bit of a workout. As far as what you should do before, you’re better off doing a simple five-minute warm-up instead. If anyone has done Shaun T’s Insanity Workout, you will know what we’re talking about here.
Fitness Myth 2: Doing crunches will get rid of the fat on your stomach
Some people do crunches for weeks and don’t feel like they’re getting a lot of results. While they may be developing the muscles under the fat, they won’t really be able to see it without doing some high intensity cardio exercises. That is the best way to get the flat tummy that you’re after. Use the crunches and abdominal work to increase its definition.
Fitness Myth 3: It’s healthier to be a vegetarian
Most of us learned the five basic foods groups in elementary school and that protein was one of them. By making sure that your diet is full of fruits and vegetables is certainly important, but the protein that meat provides helps to keep you long and lean. When it comes to meat, the focus should definitely be more on how it’s prepared (baked, grilled and broiled over being fried) rather than taking it out of your diet altogether.
Fitness Myth 4: You should hold weights while doing your cardio
You may been told that if you hold some free weights while running on your treadmill or power walking outside that it will burn some extra calories. It does, but the main thing to remember here is that it’s not really enough to make much of a difference. If you really want to get some pounds off, get some sparring gear, do some martial arts or sign up for some core-training. You’ll get much quicker results.
Fitness Myth 5: Drinking water helps you lose weight
We’re made up of mostly water and so replenishing our body with it is definitely a smart thing to do. But using water so that it fills you up to the point that you don’t want to eat so that ultimately you’ll lose more weight is probably not going to get you to your ultimate weight loss goal. Water runs through your body, literally. So, if anything, you might be burning a couple of calories going back and forth to the bathroom, but that’s not due to the water intake, but you walking to the destination itself. Drink water because it’s good for you, but not because you think that it’s a wise weight loss remedy.