Fitness is a crucial component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but there are many misconceptions about it that could impede your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle.
If you hold these fitness misconceptions, can lead you to become frustrated and give up on your quest for health in the sustainable long term. Here, we’ll dispel the most widespread misconceptions about fitness that have been floating around and provide you the right support for your fitness objectives.
One of the most common fitness misconceptions doing the rounds is that in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle you have to sweat it out for hours at the gym in order to see the results on the scale. The idea that you have to push yourself to the point of pain to see results is a myth that prevents most of us from going to the gym.
Even though some of us do manage to get into the gym, the feeling of the pain in the body, takes its toll, causing us to drop out of the fitness plan when we don’t see results.
In fact, working out to the point of pain can lead to injury to the body, at the same time slow down your progress towards achieving a healthy lifestyle. Instead, aim for a challenging but comfortable level of intensity, and listen to your body.
If you experience pain, stop and give rest to the body. Before starting out any fitness plan, seek advice from a qualified professional.
The body burns calories by keeping the body’s metabolism in order by doing different types of exercises. One of the most common misconceptions surrounding the different types of exercises for the body that has been present for ages is that cardio is the best possible way to lose weight easily. While cardio definitely is a great way to improve cardiovascular health, it is not the best way to lose weight, by any standards.
A balanced workout routine that includes an equal measure of both cardio and strength training will give you the best results on the scale. Strength training helps build muscle mass, which in turn increases your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even when you’re not working out.
Therefore, scientifically, this is a more sustainable method to lose weight steadily over a period of time and maintain it. Cardio exercises help to burn calories in the body at a faster rate. However, a more effective method would be to combine cardio and strength training exercises in order to get faster and better results.
The amount of time you spend working out is not as important as the intensity and consistency of your workouts. The major fitness misconceptions surrounding the amount of time that you need to spend in order to achieve your fitness goals is that you need to work out for hours at an end in order to see the results.
In reality, the focus is more on the quality of the fitness plan or the type of exercises rather than the time that is dedicated to the exercise itself. Though some exercises may be difficult for the body, depending upon the resistance levels, it is not necessary that in order to achieve your fitness levels, you need to spend more time on the exercises. A healthy lifestyle consists of building healthy habits over a period of time and the more you are consistent with your fitness or exercise plan, the better and the faster will be the results.
You can start seeing significant results by working out for as little as 15 minutes a day, for all the 7 days of the week, rather than spending 45 minutes or an hour at the gym for 2 days a week. Besides, investing 10-15 minutes daily for managing a healthy lifestyle is also less stressful and more motivating as your brain is focused for a lesser period of time.
The idea therefore is to choose those exercises that you enjoy doing regularly and at the same time give better results consistently over time and are less stressful. This is particularly helpful for those type of people who hate hitting the gym daily.
Crunches are a great exercise for strengthening your core muscles, but they are not the best way to get a six-pack. To see definite shift in your abs, you need to focus on reducing your overall body fat through a proper combination of a regular nutritious diet and exercise.
Incorporating a variety of core exercises, such as planks and Russian twists, will help strengthen your entire midsection rather than focusing on crunches alone. Besides focusing on one single group of muscles leads to a lopsided development of the other muscles and increases the risk of injury in case the other muscles are not worked on over a period of time.
Fitness buffs and those obsessed with fitness are often believe that regular fitness can out train a bad diet plan. This is one of the biggest fitness misconceptions that arises out of the ignorance about nutrition and one’s own body. In reality, no amount of exercise can make up for a poor diet. The body derives its energy requirements from the nutrients that are present in the food that we eat. The nutrients are converted into energy that goes into the fitness plan.
To see the best results for a healthy lifestyle over a sustainable period of time, one should focus equally on a nutritious diet and a healthy exercise plan. Though there is no fixed percentage as such, having a well balanced diet plan and a regular, moderate exercise plan incorporated for a healthy lifestyle makes a lot of difference.
Eating a balanced diet with the right balance of all the food groups, whether it is lean protein, healthy fats, or healthy carbs, along with regular exercise, will help you reach your health goals faster and sustain the results over a period of time rather than spending hours at the gym over the entire week and gorging on junk food on weekends.
Another common fitness misconception doing rounds is that supplements are a faster and easy substitutes for a diet and exercise plan. Though supplements can be helpful, but they are not substitutes for a balanced diet plan and a moderate exercise plan.
Though they complement the results that can be achieved through a balanced diet and regular exercise. They help to speed up the process of reaching the health goals faster, they cannot be a substitute for a natural balanced diet.
A healthy lifestyle also consists of other factors such as age and genetics, besides lifestyle habits such as healthy sleep patterns and stress management. Supplements can provide additional support, but they cannot be the replacement for a healthy, balanced diet and a regular exercise routine.
The laws of physics is applicable on the human body also. In order to get the muscles to start moving faster, they need a warmup of sorts as they have been inactive for a period of time. Stretching is an essential part of a pre-workout routine and should not be skipped. Stretching helps prepare your muscles for exercise, reduces the risk of injury, and improves flexibility and range of motion. Therefore it is always recommended to take time to properly warm up and stretch before each workout.
Athletic activities have been around for thousands of years and before the machines were invented, the athletes like wrestlers used to train on free weights. Though technology has advanced, use of both sophisticated equipment and have own their place in a well-rounded workout routine.
Machines can be more helpful for targeting specific muscle groups, but free weights allow for a wider range of the body’s motion and engage more muscle strength in a workout plan. Therefore they are more effective for a sustainable period of time.
Though a combination of both machines and free weights will give you the best results, sophisticated gym machines are suited for those who are into athletics as a profession. For a common person looking to manage a healthy lifestyle, the strength training workouts can be done without the use of machines also.
Rest days are just as important as your workout days. Our bodies need time to recover and the muscles need time to rebuild after a workout, and therefore taking rest days is important.
Skipping rest days can lead to overtraining, and increases the risk of injury to the muscles. This hampers the progress of the fitness plan and therefore delays the results, leading to a loss of motivation and ultimately quitting as the results are not visible.
The ideal strategy would be to incorporate at least one rest day into your weekly routine to give your body the time it needs to recover. On a rest day, rather than just lazing around, it would be a better option to practice light exercises like yoga or stretches to keep the muscles well-oiled and active for the next day’s challenge.
Managing the fitness levels of the body is complex, as different types of bodies have different fitness requirements and give different results. Therefore, lack of adequate education about our body’s nutritional requirements and belief in the common fitness misconceptions floating around, often hold us back from reaching our fitness goals.
By educating ourselves and understanding our own body, one can set yourself up for success and achieve your fitness goals. Rather than be confused by the plethora of free advice floating around, it is always better to consult a professional before taking up a fitness plan.