Exercise myths busted

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Exercise myths busted

Have you been killing it at the gym every day and not seeing positive results? You have probably been misled by myths related to exercise and nutrition. The age of internet has brought all kinds of information to our fingertips. However, the penetration of misinformation on this subject is astounding and scary, as some of it can prove fatal. It would be wise to consider the credibility of the source before implementing changes in your diet and workout regimen.

Here are some common misconceptions and the truth behind them:

Myth: Sports drinks are good for you after exercise

Fact: Only after a workout session of more than 60-90 minutes are sports drinks are good for you. These drinks are just sugary sodium water. They contain more calories than what is good for you, and they’ll end up pumping a lot of sugar into your body.
Myth: Crunches are the key to a flat stomach
Fact: Crunches are supposed to be the most iconic abdominal exercise around, but they are not actually the best way to slim your midsection. Since they don’t burn a lot of calories, they don’t result in fat loss. While crunches do tone a small portion of your abs, moves involving your distal trunk which includes your shoulders and butt more effectively engage your entire core.

Myth: Protein bar and shakes are top notch nutrition
Fact: Protein bar and shakes are rich in protein but they are also high in calories and sugar. Protein bars are like candy bars so they’re really not as helpful as you think they are. It is better to get protein from natural sources like almonds, eggs, oatmeal and broccoli, and only supplement your protein requirements with these bars and shakes.
Myth: You need to sweat it out for 45 minutes to reap health benefits
Fact: Half-an-hour or even 10 minutes of exercise a day is enough to bolster your cardiovascular health. Studies are pointing to the power of short workouts and some even suggest that quick high-intensity sessions are better. A minimum of 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week is required for you to start losing weight.

Myth: No pain, no gain
Fact: The pain of burning muscles, caused by the release of lactic acid that is triggered by the activity, is the pain they are talking about when they say “No pain, no gain”. If there is any other type of pain (sore muscles, fatigue, joint ache, hurting bones), you are definitely not working out correctly.

Myth: Weight training makes women bulky
Fact: This is completely false. The women bodybuilders and models you see with bulky frames are likely on steroids. Hormones play a huge part in making you look and feel bulky. Building heavy muscles requires testosterone coupled with very high intensity weight training regimen over a long period apart from a high-protein diet. As women have lower testosterone levels than men, they are incapable of developing a bulky frame.

Myth: Drinking water during a workout leads to cramps
Fact: Drinking water during exercise can actually prevent cramps. It’s very essential to drink water before, during and after a workout to prevent dehydration which can lead to headache, fatigue, dizziness and cramps. It is true that consuming a large volume of fluid just before starting your workout can make you feel bloated and sluggish. So always make sure to drink water in small volumes two hours prior to your exercise session. This will keep you hydrated.

Myth: You cannot gain muscle after a certain age
Fact: Muscle loss is caused not by ageing itself but by lack of activity. The fact is you may always train your muscles regardless of your age, so don’t use your age as an excuse to let yourself go. Building muscle as you age can get very challenging. But with proper nutrients and proteins, it is possible. Your body will also respond well provided you do it properly. Not only is muscle gain possible but it’s also very beneficial for older adults as strength training helps increasing bone mass, thus preventing arthritis and other illnesses.

(The author is gym trainer, Health Plus (H+))

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