By Mickey Mehta
Gymming comprises of physical training with or without weights, cardio exercises, functional training, etc. Proper form is imperative while gymming to prevent the risk of injury and to maximise the effect of the exercise. Proper form in addition to proper alignment (posture) and breathing technique contribute towards better results with reduced risk of injury. Many people complain of sweating it out in the gym and not seeing results. Chances are that they have fallen victim to bad advice. Don’t let common myths and misconceptions derail your exercise regime.
Fitness Myth No. 1: Compared to running on concrete, running on a treadmill is less stressfull on the knees!
Running is an excellent workout however it impacts the knees as the force of the body weight on the joints causes stress. So irrespective of whether one opts to run on a treadmill or on concrete, the impact is going to be same. By including variations in the workouts, the impact on the knee can be reduced.
Fitness Myth No. 2: If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough!
Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself to maintain the internal temperature. Significant number of calories can be burnt without breaking a sweat. Sweating unlike elevated heart rate is not necessarily an indicator of physical exertion.
Fitness Myth No. 3: Using machines is a safer way to exercise!
It may appear as if an exercise machine automatically puts your body in the right position and assists in performing all movements correctly. However, it is possible, provided the weight and height are accurately adjusted.
Fitness Myth No. 4: Crunches Are the Key to Flat Abs!
Crunches will help strengthening and to some extent toning of the abs, but “flat” abs are only achievable by burning off fat. This means fat-burning exercises have to be incorporated. Research has shown that doing isolated abdominal exercises regularly are not going to have any effect on the subcutaneous fat stores and abdominal circumference. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best fat-burning exercise, even core-building planks and bridges will burn fat (and work your abs) more effectively than crunches.
Fitness Myth No. 5: More Exercise Time Is Better!
Most people do need more exercise time, but taking time out for recovery is equally crucial. It is important to realize that one can sabotage fitness efforts by over-exercising. In this case, the body goes into an elevated stress response, keeping the cortisol levels higher than usual. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” which is secreted by the adrenal glands is involved in a variety of important metabolic functions. The body must be given an opportunity to rebuild and restore itself after stressing it with intense workouts. Regardless of the type of exercise it is important to always monitor the feedbacks given by the body to know whether or not you are overexerting yourself.
Fitness Myth No. 6: “Spot reduction” sheds off weight from specific body parts!
Unfortunately the concept of “spot reduction” does not burn fat. In the process of losing weight it’s not possible to specifically choose the area in which the reduction will occur. The body predetermines which fat stores it is going to use. For instance, doing planks will strengthen the abs but will not reduce the belly fat. Similarly, an activity like running burns fat all over body, not just the legs. However a balanced exercise program is required with a selection of appropriate exercises to gradually lose weight and tone the body.
Fitness Myth No. 7: Women who lift weights will bulk up!
While following a weight lifting regime, the hormone (testosterone) is necessary in order to bulk up. Women have lower testosterone level than men, thus they are not capable of building large muscles. In fact, muscle takes up less room than fat, thus women tend to lose inches when they perform strength training. So in addition to the physical benefits such as decreased risk of osteoporosis along with increased strength and metabolism, strength training will help you slim down too!
Fitness Myth No. 8: A hot bath will prevent muscle soreness!
Post exercise, the blood vessels dilate and stay that way for at least an hour afterward. Soreness occurs due to the accumulation of lactic acid, which is a waste product, that settles in the muscles (through these dilated vessels) and microtears. Colder temperatures constrict the blood vessels, limiting the amount of waste product that accumulates in the muscles. A hot water bath cannot reverse the soreness.
About Mickey Mehta: Mickey Mehta is a holistic health guru and leading expert with over more than 25 years of experience, known the world over.