top fitness myths

Physical fitness is what you make it. If you listen to certain companies, you’ll quickly learn that it’s all about diet. Other fitness experts will only focus on the benefits of exercise. The fact is, everyone is different. Different people will gain muscle, burn calories, and lose body fat at a different rate and in different ways.

Your metabolism is unique to you and your lifestyle. There are many fitness myths that can throw you off course. You need to learn about how your body works so you can separate fact from fiction when it comes to fitness. Below are some of the most common fitness myths you need to be aware of.

1. You Only Burn Calories/Fat While Exercising

False! A good workout will allow your body to burn calories for several hours afterward. Once you get your body in gear, it doesn’t just turn off after a workout. It will gradually wind down, slowing the release of adrenaline and allowing your body to return to its normal state. During that time, your body will continue to burn calories at a higher rate, gradually slowing down right along with the rest of the body’s processes.

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Exercise is only part of the equation. Besides exercise, your body needs a sufficient amount of rest to repair itself. You also need a diet plan that will provide you with the nutrients for your body to function. If you deprive yourself of calories, your body can go into starvation mode, which could prevent you from losing weight. If you are exercising regularly, maintain a healthy diet that includes smaller meals, spaced out over your day.

2. Exercise Is All You Need to Lose Weight

3. Daily Workouts Are a Must If You Want to Stay Fit

Daily workouts may not keep you fit. In fact, they will probably cause your body more stress than they are worth. Working out every other day is sufficient if you want to maintain your health and stay physically fit. If you want to do something on your off days, take a long walk or spend a few minutes stretching throughout the day. Walking outside provides you with fresh air and can help you clear your mind. Stretching every couple of hours can prevent your joints from getting stiff and improve circulation.

4. Stretching Is Not Considered Exercise

Most people consider stretching more of a warmup than true exercise. Many professionals are frowning on stretching prior to exercise because it may weaken the muscles and increase injury. Instead, they encourage using a treadmill to warm up your body. Stretching is a mild form of exercise that manipulates the muscles. Performing a stretch and holding it for a few seconds increases blood flow and improves overall circulation. Yoga and Pilates take stretching to another level that increases its overall effectiveness. A few good stretches during the day will not only increase your heart rate, but they could also improve your flexibility and range of motion.

5. Protein Shakes Are Good for You

Commercially made protein shakes may look good when you read the label, but most are made with low-quality proteins and have an excessive amount of sweeteners that defeat the purpose of trying to choose a healthy supplement. If you like the concept of a healthy shake, make it yourself.

You will know exactly what is in it and there won’t be a lot of extra fillers or sweeteners. You don’t need a recipe book if you want to be creative. Have a nutritional chart on hand, so you know what vitamins and minerals are in each fruit and vegetable. Learn what foods have the most protein and calories, and adjust your recipe as necessary.

Contrary to what you may hear or see in ads, fitness and weight loss do not follow a cookie-cutter pattern. No two people are alike. Get to know your body. Keep a journal. Identify what works and what doesn’t. Create a health and fitness routine that provides you with the results you want. If you see something interesting and have questions, don’t be afraid to ask a professional trainer. Work with your doctor. Don’t get caught up in the myths and the hype. Find out what works and stick to it!

Author bio: Dan Borucki is an ISSA Certified Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer at Reclaim Fitness. He is committed to providing a level of service that is focused on the individual, whatever his or her needs and goals may be. Borucki strives to encourage, support and challenge his clients to feel stronger, healthier and more confident.  

Photo by LYFE Fuel on Unsplash

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