You finally decided to take the plunge, you signed for a new class at the gym, or arranged a free consultation with a personal trainer. You want to get a head start on your predictable New Year’s Resolution, and you want to do it right. Every year you have the same resolution, but after 15 years, you still haven’t gotten it made it past June.
However, before you entrust your health, fitness, and future body image to a complete stranger, it’s good to do your research beforehand. The last person you want to end up as is someone who gobbles up any theory or piece of “information” your trainer feeds you, without having any second thoughts about it.
You only get your one body, and taking care of it is a priority and a privilege that you shouldn’t take for granted. You are given so much information on a daily basis about fitness, about health, and about your own body. It is extremely important to know as much as you can, (and the correct information) because following false information when you don’t know any better is easier than you think. Following misinformed guidance takes much more than just gullibility, but beating it and being more aware of your body is one way to fight it.
There is so much information passed our way, that when we hear something so often, we tend to begin to even believe and accept it, subconsciously.
To hack away the possibility of believing these common misconceptions, the first step is awareness. Here are some of the most widespread beliefs about fitness that you might have accepted without even being aware of it.
1.No pain, no gain.
Being sore the next day doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve gotten a good workout in. This is a long-standing rumor that has been applied easily in the gym every day by many exercisers. The idea behind it is that you have to feel sore the next day, or else it means that you didn’t work out hard enough the day before.
Sore muscles are a result of a large amount of stress that was present on the muscle tissue. This means that it isn’t necessarily an indicator of a good workout. You can also prepare your body to not be as sore the next day by how well you take part in the recovery process. If done properly with hydration, sleep, and possible protein and shake intake, then you can see a significant change in recovery symptoms and a minimization in soreness.
2.You need supplements to see muscle growth.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions we are told because mainly, marketing and companies want our money. The truth of the matter is that, of course, you need protein to build muscle, but the amount you technically need can be found easily in food, milk, or soy. Unless you are lifting like a bodybuilder or strength trainer, hitting the gym two or three times a week is definitely not a reason for spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on extra supplements.
Not only do these protein shakes and supplements come with large amounts of calories, which is really the opposite of what you want if you are looking to get fit, but they are also extremely expensive.
3.Replace your running shoes every six months.
Though another money chaser, this myth can be true, depending on how often or how much you run. This also depends on the quality of the shoe you use and have bought. You can easily just wear your shoes until they start to wear down in the lining, or you feel like they don’t offer the same support they once did. Unless you are an avid runner and want the best quality for your feet (and consequentially, for your body, as well), then you can bypass this piece of advice.
4.Six packs appear with some crunches.
It is really difficult, if flat out close to impossible, to just make abs appear by doing crunches or core exercises. To get your six-pack, or eight-pack out and saying hello to the world, you need to also incorporate cardio and pair it with a healthy diet. You can have a rock, solid core, be able to hold a plank for five minutes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can wash your clothes on your midsection. (Think washboard abs, guys).
5.If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough.
This myth goes hand in hand with the myth that states that you actually sweat out toxins. All sweating merely is, is your body cooling itself by releasing the warmth and regulating your internal body temperature. Just because you aren’t sweating, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t working hard. Some people naturally sweat more than others, and honestly, all you are doing is just losing water.
To debunk the myth about the fact that getting a good workout in after a crazy night can rid your body of the damage you’ve done the night before, there are other parts of your body that actually cover that job. Toxins are actually released from the kidneys, liver, and intestines.
Actually, if you are planning on detoxing your body through sweating, this can lead to a dangerous practice. Forcing your body to sweat and get your body temperature high enough is causing your body dehydration. This is even more reinforced if you are refusing your body water, as well. If your body isn’t hydrated and you are trying to sweat the toxins out, your body can actually react in the opposite way. Your detox system becomes impaired with dehydration and even clings onto the water and toxins even more than before.
If you are really honest and committed about starting a regular exercise regimen and beginning on the path to a better fitness and health, it is important to familiarize yourself with not only the importance of the facts of your body and the way it works, but also of the myths that are often shown to you on a regular basis. Differentiating between the two of these matters are just as important as creating a healthy environment for you and your body to grow and get stronger and healthier.
Knowing the myths that the world has unknowingly or unwillingly given you before you make your way to the gym is extremely important on your path to a better and fitter lifestyle. There are so many other myths out there that need debunking and are dangerous and misguiding, leading you in the wrong direction on your path. Some have to do with fitness, some focus on strength training, some steer you towards buying extravagant shoes, fitness equipment, or supplements. There are so many marketing strategies that can also lead you to believe that you need certain things to be the best version of you, which are simply not true. Make sure you familiarize yourself with their marketing attempts, while they target your weaknesses or self-conscious aspects and make you blindsided to easily believe them. Their ability to really corner you in your doubts is their bread and butter, so be prepared to be aware of their tactics, and watch out for other fitness and health myths.