Fitness,  Healthy Eating,  Healthy Lifestyle

5 Fitness Myths Busted

There are all sorts of fitness myths floating around out there and a lot of them are enough to make many people say, “Forget it!” But I did some research on this and here is what I found, so let’s dive into fitness myth #1…

Fitness Myth #1: You Need to Exercise 5 Days a Week for 30 Minutes a Day to See Benefits

This one is false! Many of us just don’t have time for that. Calorie-burning is a function of time and intensity. This means that the less vigorously you are able or willing to work out, the more time you need to put in for optimal results. In other words, you can get away with shorter workouts as long as you kick up the intensity. So, instead of doing a 30-minute intense walk around your neighborhood, try three 10 minute intense walks three times a day or two 15 minute intense walks. Either way, both walking workouts equals 30 minutes, and instead of “5 days a week workouts”, opt for 3 day workouts. This is easier to fit into a busy schedule and you get a couple days of rest in between workouts.

Myth #2: Doing Cardio on an Empty Stomach Burns More Fat

There’s no need to hit the gym hungry, because it doesn’t do the average person any good. Bodybuilders and endurance athletes use this technique for specific reasons, but those don’t really apply to us regular people. Studies have compared the fat and weight loss of subjects who fasted pre-workout and those who had eaten, and they found the results were basically the same. People who are not trained athletes might be putting undue stress on themselves by doing aerobic exercise on an empty stomach (without any fuel). For a pre-workout snack, eat a protein bar, drink a protein smoothie or a slice or two of whole wheat toast with your choice of nut butter.

Myth #3: Walking 10,000 Steps Per Day is Optimal

Getting 10,000 steps a day is a benchmark that popped up during the ’60s as a result of a Japanese pedometer called Manpo-Kei. The name translates to “10,000 steps meter,” 10,000 being an important number in several East Asian cultures. Now, you can still fall short of meeting recommended exercise requirements even if you hit 10,000 steps a day! The key is to walk briskly for at least 10 minutes at a time and avoid taking fewer than 5,000 steps per day, which puts you into the sedentary category.

Myth #4: You Need to Drink Lots of Water Before, During, and After Exercise to Avoid Dehydration

I am a big fan of staying hydrated to avoid hunger pangs, but chugging a large amount of water surrounding your workout might not be necessary. Research shows that most people typically get enough water through food (which supply 20 percent of our water) and beverages (including coffee, tea, juice, and milk), and thirst is a reliable indicator of when we need more fluid, even during exercise. Moreover, if you drink too much water during exercise, your body may not be able to get rid of the excess fluid, and your sodium levels can drop dangerously low. So, drink your water, but don’t force it!

Myth #5: Heavy Sweating Means a More Intense Workout

No! Perspiration varies from person to person. How much you sweat is based upon factors like gender, age, genetics, temperature, humidity, weight, and even your current fitness level. Fit people tend to sweat sooner and more during exercise than those who are less fit. Research shows that as your fitness level improves, your body’s heat-regulating system becomes more efficient, cooling you down faster and allowing you to work harder.

I hope these myth busting fitness facts have cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about exercise. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance: eating a healthy diet, getting moderate exercise, reducing stress (as much as you can) and getting adequate sleep every night. That’s it! I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and until next week, be happy, healthy and beautiful!

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