When it comes to fitness, there are a lot of myths out there, and it can be confusing to know who or what to believe. This week we’re so excited to share some fitness insights from a personal trainer and former professional athlete, Marc Zimmermann.
Watch Marc’s video made especially for YOU, the Naturally Savvy audience, and find the 11 myths below!
Myth 1: To stay in shape you need to exercise only once or twice a week.
When it comes to being active, the old saying of “the more the merrier” is true. Sure, being active once or twice a week is better than nothing, but it’s important to get your body moving for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day. Doing this gets your blood flowing, enabling your body to better supply your organs with oxygen and nutrients, and comes with the added benefit of getting rid of toxins.
Myth 2: Strength training is only for men
Having strength is important for many reasons, including protecting you from injury. Having strength throughout your body helps maintain (or improve!) balance, and particularly for women, it’s a surefire way to increase testosterone levels to a healthy level.
Myth 3: The best time to work out is in the early morning.
This is a popular myth from experts who want you to believe that there's a right and a wrong way to work out, but the truth is that the best time to workout is when YOU are best suited to working out! Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, find a workout schedule that suits your individual needs, because the important thing is that you get it done, not when you get it done!
Myth 4: You can target your fat burn (with the exercises you are doing)
Some fitness websites will tell you about all the ways to lose belly fat or get rid of those stubborn love handles, but the truth is that while exercise can target specific muscles under the fat, it can’t target specific areas for fat burn. High-intensity workouts can help speed up your metabolism to spark fat burn, but ultimately it’s down to your genetics and your own body as to where the fat burns first.
Myth 5: No Pain no gain
This is a popular myth in the world of fitness, but it can be a dangerous one. There’s a big – and important – difference between muscle pain during working out and feeling a sharp pain, and understanding the two can prevent injuries both now and in the future. Feeling the burn of your muscles a little bit when you workout can be normal, but anything that crosses into the threshold of sharp pain means that you’re harming your body. Remember – pain receptors are just one of many ways that our bodies communicate with us!
Myth 6: You should stretch before you workout
Some people waste a lot of time doing static stretches before working out, but if you’re doing a dynamic workout then instead it’s important to do dynamic stretches, which loosens up your muscles and gets them ready for the actual functional movements that you’ll be doing. Static stretching, on the other hand, can harm your muscles since you’re starting cold, whereas dynamic stretching does actual movements that simulate your workout, getting you warm and ready for a safe and effective session.
Myth 7: Crunches are the best movements for your core/abs
Crunches are a great example of an isolated movement that hits certain parts of your abs, but compounding movements such as going from a plank to a side plank to push-ups hit all parts of your ab muscles. So the good news is that you don’t need to do a million crunches to get those abs you’ve been dreaming about…but instead you should focus on compound movements!
Myth 8: Soreness after working out is caused by lactic acid
Past research suggested that lactic acid was the source of soreness after a workout, leading many people to believe that they have a buildup of lactic acid, but the truth is that soreness is usual and expected due to slight pulls and tears in your muscles. That sore feeling that you experience after a high-intensity workout is normal, and doesn’t correlate to any excess lactic acid being produced by your body!
Myth 9: Effective exercise takes hours
Don’t want to spend hours in the gym? Good… because you don’t have to! Effective exercise takes around 25 to 45 minutes, which is why even professional athletes don’t work out for more than that. More important than the duration of your exercise is the intensity; if you can get your heart rate elevated for short bursts, that’s more effective than a longer duration of lower-intensity movements.
Myth 10: If you don't exercise when you are young it’s dangerous when you get older
Sure, you’d have a lot of muscle memory if you worked out a lot when you were younger, but as the Chinese proverb states, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is right now.” Whatever your age is, it’s extremely important to consistently get your blood flowing and use fitness as a cornerstone to your health, especially in your older age!
Myth 11: Working out in a gym is better than at home
The truth is, you don’t need to go to a gym. In fact, how many times have you heard the statistics about the percentage of people who have a gym membership but don’t go? The truth is, learning how to get an effective workout wherever you are is one of the keys to building a consistent habit of working out.
Enjoyed hearing Coach Marc’s insights into fitness in today’s blog post? We’re excited to partner with him this week to bring you an 11-minute at-home workout the Coach Marc way! He’s going to show us what effective, high-intensity workouts can look like without any weights or equipment, so stay tuned to Naturally Savvy this week to do the 11-minute workout!