Regular exercise and a proper diet are important in keeping your body fit and healthy. However, with all the fitness programs and weight loss diets available containing conflicting “facts,” it’s hard for an ordinary person to determine what’s really true – and what’s not.
A fitness program proclaims, “Do an hour of this routine so you’ll lose weight,” while another fitness program reports, “Don’t do that and do what this routine instead,” is confusing to people. So, which is best? There are thousands of fitness tips out there, and you would need a thousand pages to to tackle each one of them.
In general, here are nine fitness tips you should ignore because they simply don’t work:
1. Doing Crunches Will Get You A Flat Belly
There is no question about belly fat being the most undesirable, yet the most difficult body fat to eliminate. This is probably the reason many people get excited over exercises that claim to trim down the belly area.
However, losing belly fat is not as easy as just doing crunches daily, although, it does help tone your belly.
Spot training just doesn’t work. To effectively lose belly fat, you have to reduce your overall body fat by exercising regularly, eating right, getting enough sleep and handling stress positively. After doing this, you can now do crunches, together with cardio and strength training to tone the muscles in your abdomen.
2. No Pain, No Gain
If taken literally, then it certainly is a bad piece of advice. If you want results, you really have to work hard. However, working hard is far different from hurting yourself and developing an injury in the process.
When working out, you are at risk for injuries. It is normal to get exhausted and feel discomfort after an intense workout. But, it’s not okay to feel pain during and after workouts, especially if it keeps recurring.
You should watch out for chronic pain on specific areas of the body. If it began after you started your workout routine, you should ask for some help from a professional.
3. It Is best To Exercise In The Morning
Some of your friends will say a morning workout is the best way to burn calories and get you ready to be active throughout the day. But, your other friends may say it is best to do it in the evening to avoid draining your energy stores needed during the day.
So, when do you really need to exercise? Is it first thing in the morning or at night? The answer all depends on you.
There is no enough scientific evidence to prove that working out at a specific time of the day is more effective for burning calories. The perfect time to work out is the time that works best for you. Most likely, an early bird can stick to early morning workout routines, and a night owl may appreciate a late-day workout.
4. Squats Can Cause Knee Injuries
If you are a newbie to weight training, you will probably hear this advice. Yes, squats can cause knee injuries, but, only if you do them incorrectly.
Squatting, even a simple body weight squat; can come with numerous benefits because it uses almost every muscle group in the body. It strengthens your bones and the muscles around your knees, improves endurance and helps burn unnecessary body fat.
To avoid injuries, learn how to do squats in their proper form before trying them with weight lifting. Make sure an expert is looking after you as you incorporate it with weights, too.
5. Lose Weight By Eating Less And Exercising More
If losing weight was this simple, then there would be no thousands of other existing weight loss programs. Fitness experts and professional instructors would be jobless.
What you need to do is to cut down on processed foods rich in refined carbohydrates, focus on what you eat and not just on how much you eat. A well-balanced diet that includes healthy fats, together with regular exercise accounts for a sustainable weight loss.
6. Junk The Fatty Foods
People are obsessing over this rule that they need to eliminate every fatty food in their diet, which is actually wrong. First of all, not all foods that contain fats can make you gain weight. In fact, your body needs fats, but just the healthy type of fats, to function well.
It is important to distinguish between fats that are bad for you and fats needed by your body. Pasta, white bread, commercial pastries, fried foods and processed foods contain bad fats. Avocados, walnuts, olive oil, tofu, flaxseed and salmon contain good fats. Now you know which fat to avoid and which fat to eat.
7. The More Time You Spend In The Gym, The Better
Working out regularly is a good thing, but regularly does not mean daily. You have to let your body recover, especially after an intense workout. If you work out every day, you could overwork and over train your muscles, which can keep it from developing. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. This also applies to working out.
8. Stretching Before Exercising Will Help Prevent Injuries
According to a number of studies, stretching before working out does not help prevent injuries and worse yet, it can reduce your muscle strength. Instead of static stretching before exercising, do dynamic warm-ups such as squats, jumping jacks or jogging in place.
9. Lifting Heavy Weights Will Bulk Up A Woman’s Muscles
Incorporating weight training in your workout routines comes with many benefits. It increases bone density, helps improve and maintain your muscle mass, improves endurance and mobility, and helps you lose and maintain your desired weight.
Sadly, a lot of women only focus on cardio workouts and shun weight training for fear of developing manly bulging muscles.
Yes, lifting weights can develop women’s muscles, but not the same way as it does in men. Why? It is because women have fewer muscle tissues than men, and they also have lower testosterone levels in their bodies.
Men’s muscles develop easily and quickly due to testosterone, the male hormone responsible for their masculine features, including the muscles.
If you are not into looking like a female bodybuilder, not that there is something wrong with the way they look, you do not have to avoid weight training completely. You can ask your trainer on how to add weight training to your current routine and make sure to tell them that you don’t want big, bulging muscles.
It seems everyone has their opinions when it comes to fitness. If you don’t know what fitness advice to follow, at least you know what fitness advice to ignore. The best bet is to listen to your body and find what works for you.