In the world of fitness, there are more half-truths going around than there are facts. Anyone who has worked out for a few months and achieved good results feels confident enough to impart advice to others eager to get in shape. Advertisements making tall claims add to spreading misinformation too.
Here are seven false beliefs going around and facts about them.
Myth: Doing yoga is on par with weight training
Fact: It is foolish to compare weight training and yoga. It’s like comparing an expensive sports car with a helicopter [both are used for transport but both have their pluses and minuses]. An overweight or underweight yoga teacher who is very flexible may need weight training and the right diet. A bulky man who lifts heavy weights and looks healthy may have a weak immune system and be susceptible to colds and coughs. He may require strengthening his immunity with yoga. Yoga tones the body, but to build lean muscle you require weight training. They serve separate purposes and cannot be compared.
Myth: Lightweight training is for women
Fact:Training with light weights serves no purpose, as muscle and bones don’t respond until heavy external weight is applied. Yes, you should start light, but you need to gradually increase the weight. Proper weight training results in youthful looks, a firm and toned body, and low risk of osteoporosis. Women should not fear weight training as their bodies are not built in a way that they can become ‘huge’.
Myth: Stomach crunches reduce belly fat
Fact: Any kind or number of abdominal crunches cannot reduce your tummy fat. Crunches strengthen the abdominal muscles, but do not burn fat. Only aerobic exercises like swimming or cycling for 30-40 minutes, four times a week will help burn fat in unwanted places.
Myth: Spot reduction is possible
Fact: No matter how often this is repeated, there will always be takers for this myth. Contrary to what commercials claim, there is no such thing as spot reduction. Fat is distributed throughout the body in a pattern determined by genetics, gender [hormones], and age. You must reduce overall body fat to lose fat in any particular area
Myth: Sugar causes obesity and diabetes
Fact: Many people constantly live in fear of diabetes. They want to stay slim and blame sugar for their fat. Hence, they opt for sugar free sweeteners. Truth is, if you maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly, you do not lead to live your life in fear of diabetes or gaining weight. The primary risk for Type-2 diabetes is inactivity, high-calorie diet and obesity. It is not about how and what you eat, but how well your body metabolises and breaks down food. Being active, having a regular exercise regime or by simply doing physical sport works wonders with regard to staying slim.
Myth: Eating red meat leads to heart diseases
Fact: There are a lot of myths surrounding every type of red meat. One of them is that it makes you fat and more susceptible to heart diseases. The white fat sticking to meat and not meat itself is the culprit. You need to remove this fat while cleaning and before cooking, better yet, to buy lean meat from the market. You’ll be surprised to know that a pork tenderloin has less saturated fat than the same size chicken serving with skin.
Myth: Rigorous training sessions and strict diets get faster results
Fact: Be it weight training or yoga, overdoing has a negative effect. A 40-minute workout is good enough for an average person. Lowering the calorie intake might result in quick weight loss, but it is a short-lived and an unhealthy option. Moreover, many other factors like genetics, hyper-sensitivity to some types of food, or pollution may be involved. The simple answer to these problems is regular exercise and fresh organic food.