Fit Friday: 8 Fitness Myths Debunked

This is our last Fit Friday post (for now) and it's a good one! Ashley hit this one out of the park and I know you're going to love how she debunks these 8 fitness myths!

Pictured above: the strong and talented Ashley!

Pictured above: the strong and talented Ashley!

With all the different information out there about what you should and should not do when it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle, I have taken some of the top fitness myths that I hear people debating about the most and debunked them for you today! I hope you are able to learn something from this post, and incorporate these truths into your daily routine and thoughts towards your health and fitness journey. Enjoy!

1. Doing crunches will give you a six pack and working on an “Ab-Machine” will get rid of belly fat.

You can build the muscles in your abdominals by doing any form of ab work, but you won’t actually be able to visibly see a toned and strong mid-section until you lose the extra weight that you might be carrying around your stomach. You can’t target a specific area of your body for weight loss either, in order to burn fat, your workouts should include both cardiovascular and strength-training elements and your diet needs to be nutritious and healthy. Focus on planks and weighted ab exercise to build all of the muscles in your abdominals.

2. You must feel pain working out if you are going to see any results.

While you should expect to experience some soreness a day or two after working out, the pain should not be present while you are exercising. You want to push yourself, but if you are experiencing pain that won’t go away even after you have stopped, and rested for a short period of time, this could be an indication of over-training or injury.

3. If you are not sweating, you are not working hard enough.

Sweat is your body’s way of cooling off naturally. There are many types of exercises that have longer recoveries between sets, or don’t push as much physical stress on your central nervous system. If yoga, flexibility, strength training, or light endurance is your goal; rest assured that you don’t have to be sweating to know that you are working hard.

4. Cardio burns the most calories.

While cardio burns more calories than resistance training during your workout, lifting weight torches fat; and the more lean muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories your body will burn in its resting time. The extended amount of time in your day that your body is burning higher calories is worth picking up the weights.

5. Static stretching before your workout is the best way to warm up.

Stretching when your body has not yet been warmed up is not only ineffective, but it can be dangerous; leading to pulled muscles and tendons. Warming up with 5 minutes of cardio before your workout is the most effective way to kick-start your entire body. Save the static stretching until after your workout is complete!

6. Weight training will bulk you up and make you look like a man.

Females aren’t even capable of putting on muscle mass like men can; we simply don’t have the testosterone levels necessary to gain a lot of muscle. By choosing heavier weights with less repetitions, your body will lean out, give you shapely and sculpted muscles, and be a fat-burning machine while you are at rest.

7. You need a gym membership to get good fitness results.

There is so much that you can do to stay active and get fit without the use of any fancy equipment or group classes. By simply getting outside for a run or placing a yoga mat in front of your computer or TV and following along with a DVD, you still gain incredible cardiovascular and strength benefits. Research different workouts that you can do at home and find something you love to keep you motivated.

8. More exercise is always better

People run the risk of over-training so easily when they get excited and motivated to make some healthy changes in their lives. Intense exercise every single day will burn you out and you will find yourself injured, exhausted, and plateaued in your goals very quickly. Focusing on a few days of quality exercise over 7 days of mediocre effort will earn you better, and longer lasting results.

What other fitness "truths" have you heard that you want confirmed or debunked?