Working out is one of those things that we love to hate on or simple love without any additions to the emotion. We need to work out in order to keep in shape, this we know well. We also need to work out to ward off diseases apparently, to keep our organs working properly and to strengthen our body in general, ensuring we are always at our best, no matter what our weight. There are many myths connected with exercising as well though, things told by those gyms and those weight loss programs, the personal trainers and the “experts” in the field alike. They may mean well, but they just end up making us feel worse overall. There are so many elements to each and every person’s body that it is imperative that one understands him or herself best before following that well-meant advice to the tee. As such, there are those quite knowledgeable in the field, who offer some sage advice. It is rather important to understand the truth and lies about working out correctly, which we are discussing below!
1. You are a unique individual: Just because someone else with an incredible body and form tells you to do something thus, it does not mean that it is something meant for you as well. You as a 25-year-old have a very different shape, size, ability, point of no return and everything else than your 25-year-old best friend, let alone a stranger. It makes no difference. You need to work out in a way that it is right for you, that it helps your body get into the shape you want it to be. Everything about you is different than all the rest so do not give up when you realize that what works for one person does not also work for you. You will find your own step sooner or later.
2. Weight loss can also mean health loss: It may seem to be amazing that you are losing a whole lot of weight all at once, dropping 5 kilos a week, but you are actually drastically affecting your health as well, something you do not want to be doing. It is better to lose your weight slowly but steadily, allowing your body time to adjust to each pound less weighing you down. Should you go too fast, you will run into some major problems.
3. Weight loss is not necessarily fat loss: You may be losing weight as you go on one diet or another, but that may not be fat at all but merely water loss, leading to a dehydrated body more than a thinner, healthier one. The amount of muscle you have to body fat is most important here and losing on the muscle mass will only hurt your stamina, physical abilities and general functioning in life. Use measurements instead of a scale to make sure you are keeping in shape and are fit enough, while ensuring a proper body composition with a balanced scale of muscle, fat, water and overall density.
4. Stress can be causing the majority of your problems: An obsession over a healthy lifestyle can cause way too much stress and have the opposite effect as well. If you have missed an aerobics class or a training session, it matters not. Just enjoy the moment and reschedule, make up for it the next time around without allowing it to eat you up from the inside. You’re only human so you will need to take a deep breath and relax in order for your healthy lifestyle to work out properly.
You have been told many different myths throughout your life. It is time to have them seen as defunct, as outdated and incorrect, not taking any of the factors stated above into consideration. But which lies have been the worst?
• This program will transform your body! Yeah, okay. The truth is that health is a lifestyle and not a series of programs meant to transform your body. You cannot start a workout program for a few weeks or months, lose the weight and then expect it to stay off when you begin to eat those cheesecakes again. It can be a fantastic way to kick start a healthy lifestyle but it does not end there. There should be no countdown until it ends. It should become a part of who you are. But you must already know that, even if you are enrolled in a program or two or three…
• You do not need to sleep so much as you get older: In a way it is true. You no longer need 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night like a child would. However, you do need at least 7 hours of sleep, preferably 8, or at least resting the eyes and the brain so that you can function normally once again the next day. A lack of proper sleep will snowball soon enough and you will have a load of health problems to deal with. You will need that sleep in order to have a proper workout session.
• Your body will conform to whatever you decide to do with it: Once again, in a way it is true. But your body is smarter than you think and will respond to a lack of proper calories and nutrition by breaking itself down. If you want to be losing on energy or want a slower metabolism, along with increased appetite levels, you should keep to that irrational manner of controlling the body. You will certainly not be able to hold on to your health however. Working your body too hard and stressing it out will not be of any help.
• You can lose a lot of weight all at once: You can lose a lot of weight or you may not. You can feel healthy doing so or totally lose interest in everything. At the end of the day, you just need to slow down, a lot. You will not be losing too much weight at once if you are actually taking a healthy route to fitness, will plateau and even see yourself barely budging towards your goals. You do not even want to be seeing extremes as that can have an adverse effect overall. Don’t feel guilty either for any small “mistakes” made on your way. That is a sure way to ruin any bit of success gained over the last bit you have been working on something.
• The more you work out, the more fit you will be: Endurance is a very good thing and the more you work out the better you will feel but not all in the same block of time. Your body does amazing after 45 to 55 minutes of really pushing it to its limits but you do not want to stress out your body and produce excess cortisol, leading to a negative impact on your health. Make sure your body is nice and stimulated but not pushed too far that it can lead to failure at any given point.
• You need a variety of workouts every time: Now this is certainly not true as you also need to build endurance. There is nothing wrong with doing the same thing for 45 minutes straight, tough it will bore you to no end as well. Variety also helps you prevent hitting a plateau, but it helps condition strength and gives your body a chance to adapt to the moves themselves. You should have a plan of different moves, one batch a days that you repeat every other day or every week just to keep changing it up while still working your muscles productively. Plus, you should switch around the types of workout you do every 4-6 weeks just to give your body a chance to work on something different, on a different set of muscles that need your unwavering attention, at least for a certain period of time.
Photo courtesy of The Blonde Salad
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