In the second installment of our “spring cleaning” series we’re going to talk about eliminating some of the more common fitness fallacies. In an industry that’s been around since the first cavemen ran after the first wooly mammoths there is a surprising amount of misinformation out there. So let’s clear the air a little and help you improve the quality and efficiency of your workouts.
Myth One: If I do 100 bicep curls every day, I’ll have thinner arms.
Reality: Spot reducing does not work. You can’t make any individual part of your body smaller by repeatedly working that part. You can add strength and tone your muscles. You can make an individual muscle bigger with training but even 1,000 leg lifts will not reduce the diameter of your thigh.
Myth Two: If I do strength training, I’ll get big, bulky muscles.
Reality: Only if you want them and have enough testosterone to build them. The average strength-training program won’t lead to bulky muscles. And most women don’t have enough testosterone in their systems to build a lot of muscle mass. Body builders do extraordinarily targeted and intense workouts specifically designed to increase muscle size and definition.
Myth Three: Everybody will lose weight if they just exercise.
Reality: Not necessarily. Some people lose weight when they start to work out and some do not. Every BODY is different. But regardless of whether or not you lose weight, fitness is a great thing for your health. You’ll feel better. You’ll sleep better. And you’ll have a better quality of life.
Myth Four: You need to work out for at least 30 minutes at a time in order to see a health benefit.
Reality: It doesn’t really matter how long your exercise sessions are. Three ten-minute exercise sessions are just as good as one thirty-minute sessions. This means that all of those little steps you take throughout the day totally count towards your exercise total. So park a little further away. Take the stairs. All those little bits add up to better fitness.
Myth Five: No pain, no gain.
Reality: Exercise doesn’t have to hurt to be effective. While a little Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is fairly common, even with moderate exercise, it doesn’t have to hurt to work. Your most likely to be successful if you start at a level that is comfortable for you and ramp at a very slow rate (not more than 10% per week). The most important thing is that your fitness is consistent and steady. We want you to exercise for life. So keep exercise fun and relatively pain free so you stick to it!
There are lots more common myths surrounding the world of exercise, but these are a few to get you started! Don’t forget, you can get your personal fitness questions answered at www.askafitfatty.com which is part of our new fit fatties forum. WHATEVER you do, my little chicklettes–remember to have fun!
The Fat Chick