Continuing with our Fitness Myths series, here are some more fitness myths that need to be busted!
Eat Junk Now, Exercise Later
Calories consumed from the diet and burnt during exercise do not literally cancel each other. The body can use calories either as carbohydrates, protein or fat depending upon the type of activity, physical conditioning etc. When calories are consumed in the form of junk foods they are more easily converted into fat. People on a weight loss program are the ones who have excess deposits of fat. This means that the body stores easily and lets go of the fat with difficulty. Choose foods wisely as we want to stop the conversion at source rather than worry about how to burn it later. Even if weight loss is not a goal, junk foods have other ill effects on the body and are best kept to an occasional treat (not more than 1-2 servings per week).
Walking or Yoga Is Enough
Exercise should be a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility. Whatever form of exercise you choose, it must be a combination of these. Walking and yoga, fit into the cardio/flexibility category. One needs to train with weights for strength. A muscle has to be challenged beyond its capacity in order to grow. Strength training should be targeted at not only toning (maintaining what you have) but also on building (more than what you have). The weight training component can further be divided into strength and volume workouts, each of which plays their role and only a qualified and experienced exercise specialist can structure one for you. A good workout borrows and reserves energy for repair hours long after the workout is over. We should not only focus on the calories burnt during the workout, but also capitalise on the afterburn.
Spot Reduction, Liposuction, and Bariatric Surgery Works!
Doing 1000 crunches a day to lose tummy fat is another waste of time. Fat loss is targeted at all sites uniformly, but the problem areas determined by your genes store more fat and release less of it. Thus, they will always be proportionally fatter compared to the non-problem areas even after you reach your goal weight. Even methods like liposuction or surgery demand a change in lifestyle for maintenance of results. So when a lifestyle change is inevitable, why not incorporate it from the start?
You Cannot Lift Heavy As You Age
Irrespective of age, an exercise program must be commenced after receiving clearances from your physician if you suffer from any ailments. Always begin at a lower intensity when you are new to an activity. An expert’s guidance will definitely help. Progression to the next level must happen after you have mastered the form and technique. Adequate rest and nutrition are equally important. If these rules are kept in mind, age will never be a deterrent. In fact, exercise actually helps you to anti-age because technically aging means losing muscle and gaining fat and with the right combination of exercise, nutrition and rest we partially reverse that process. It’s never too late to start.
Women Shouldn’t Lift
This last one is our fave! Women do not have the hormones to bulk up like men naturally. Yes, picking up weights will develop the muscles and give them tone and definition. If the fat above those muscles starts mobilising at the same time, the end result is a leaner body. Fat is soft and shapeless, muscles give shape and increase the calorie burning capacity of the body. Weight training will also reduce your risk for osteoporosis later in life as it strengthens bones. In fact for these very reasons, women need to lift weights more than men!