Six Fitness Myths and Truths

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Saturday 16th October 2010
In this article
  • The truth will set you free (or at least keep you on the treadmill one more day).
  • Getting to the bottom of some common myths.
  • Armed and active.

When it comes to the workout world, it is so easy to get discouraged. Finding the motivation to work out on a regular basis is hard enough for most of us. Then you throw in some of those fitness myths that make things even harder and it seems like being a couch potato isn’t such a bad option. Well don’t send those endorphins into hibernation just yet. First check out these six fitness myths and the SharpHealth truth behind them:

Myth One: "If I’m not sore the day after a workout, I didn’t work hard enough."

It is normal to feel a little sore when you begin a workout program, but you shouldn’t have sore muscles on a regular basis if you work out consistently. By gradually increasing your level of workout effort over time, you can actually avoid most of the soreness often associated with exercise. If certain muscles or joints are still sore after working out for a week or two, your body may be trying to tell you something — either dial down your workout or consult a physician.

Myth Two: "If I sweat a lot, I will lose more weight."

Everyone’s body is different, so you can’t use the amount you sweat as an indicator of how hard you are working. Also, don’t assume the guy on the treadmill next to you is working harder than you because he is dripping with sweat and you aren’t. Weight, fitness level and genetics all play a factor in how much and how quickly your body begins to sweat.

Myth Three: "I will build muscle faster if I eat a lot of protein."

Your body needs a balanced diet to stay strong and healthy. Eating too much of one type of food or ingesting too much of any one supplement is just as bad as not eating enough. In some cases, ingesting too much of one nutrient won’t turn you into Mr. Universe, but may cause damage to your liver and kidneys. In short, you are far better off eating a nutritious, balanced diet.

Myth Four: "The best time to work out is in the morning."

There is no "best time" to work out. You will get the same results from a workout, no matter the time of day. For some people, working out in the morning is just a better option because most days seem to get busier and busier the later it gets. Or you may not be a morning person so it is likely that hopping on the treadmill at 6 a.m. won’t get the same enthusiasm from your mind and body as a 6 p.m. workout would. Some people also like evening workouts as a way to relieve the stress of the day. You just have to find what works for you.

Myth Five: "I should focus on cardiovascular exercise if I want to lose weight."

You will actually lose more weight in less time by adding weight training to your workout. Maintaining muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn. But keep in mind that to lose weight most effectively and efficiently you need a combination of cardiovascular and strength-training exercise. Don’t focus so much on one that you neglect the other. And while strength-training will build calorie-burning muscle, cardiovascular exercise will keep your metabolism in gear and will improve the condition of your heart.

Myth Six: "If I work one area every day, I will lose weight in that area."

"Spot reducing" is one of the biggest myths out there. You can’t do sit-ups every day and expect to lose all the extra weight you are carrying around your stomach. Once again, genetics play a factor in where you lose weight. And since target training only tones muscles anyway, you will just be tightening the muscles under the layer of fat. To lose weight you need a balance of strength and cardiovascular exercise and you should focus on the entire body, not just the areas of most concern.

Now that you are armed with the truth, at least in six areas of fitness, you can work out smarter and with a little more confidence.

This article last updated on Saturday 16th October 2010
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