Great article on some of the biggest myths in fitness.
With my bimonthly column now a few months old, it’s time for a Top 10 List. Hopefully this summary of myths and tips helps to inform and invigorate your fitness journey.
I can’t or won’t do it self-talk
This is the worst thing you can do when starting an exercise program – being in your pwn head too much. Being ready is the key to success in getting fit. People who are new to exercise have to confront a myriad of barriers as they navigate down a tough road for a better sense of health. We all have our little hangups to varying degrees – whether it be feelings inadequacy, lack of self-esteem, or poor judgement. Unfortunately, intimidating gyms and busy fitness instructors often add to the anxiety we may have. Often, success boils down to locating an inclusive and supportive group that will help you carry on. You can’t expect to pop by your closest gym and feel right at home. You’re not going to there to make friends, although you may in time. If the tour leaves you feeling discourages then do yourself a favor and move on. It’s often easier to find a good personal trainer in a more intimate setting than in a cookie cutter standard warehouse gym.
Have patience for yourself
When you find the right trainer, gym or studio that you’re looking for, give yourself at least four weeks before deciding whether all of your effort is working. Don’t rely on the scale as a measure of success. Instead, go by better rules of thumb, such as to how you feel, your energy level, how you look, and your self-confidence. This isn’t a quick fix, remember that you’re in this for the long haul.
I just want to be healthy
This really is a tricky aspect that involves different parts. First, the greatest health gains come from getting off the couch and moving. Walking is a great first step. Additional gains that are derived from exercising harder have more to do with performance and appearance. Interestingly there is more to the ‘I want to be healthy’ statement than meets the eye. In one study conducted with new female clients, health was ranked above appearance on the importance scale. As exercisers experienced success, appearance jumped to No. 1. Empowerment is only second to readiness on your health journey.
Hips, thighs and butt all day long
Your glutes are actually your single largest muscle group, and overall legs makes up the greatest mass of muscle in your body. That’s why it’s so important to focus on these muscles, despite the fact that you may find it harder to train them. The more muscle you work, the more exertion needed and the more tired you’ll become. Pace yourself, especially in the beginning phase of your program.
Myth about cardio
Women collect fat in the hips and tights, whereas, men collect fat in their mid-section. Several studies show that fat collects more around weak muscles groups than ones you use regularly. So, you can run all day long but it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to shed that unwanted belly fat. To the contrary – overexercising with cardio training can actually make you lose muscle and decrease your metabolism if not done correctly.
Myth about weight training
Most people, especially women, are finally starting to wake up to the benefits of strength training. Strength training is also a great cardio-respiratory workout and is even better for increasing your metabolism. It’s a fact that people are able to maintain a balanced weight through strength training as opposed to cardio. Most people are fooled by the deception of their scales when they first start out, and sometimes this causes them to abandon their strength training programs. In the first months, you’re likely to gain weight but this is normal. Keep in mind that putting on muscle is a good kind of weight that will help you burn fat.
Sometime in the late eighties, probably with the rise of Arnold, we became fixated on abs. More recently, our obsession switched from abs to core strength. Most people don’t really get the difference, thinking that core simply means abs. Core strength is how it sounds — it will keep your center stable and aligned during hard work. Chances are, you have a weak core from sitting at a desk all day or sitting on the couch. So, when it comes time for the winter and you have to shovel snow or pick up the groceries, you might throw your back or shoulder out. A weak core can lead to a back or other injuries.
In the end, it’s mind over matter
There was one study that says we have about fifty thousand negative thoughts per day. Fifty thousand- that’s a lot! It’s also a great way to talk yourself out of doing anything and being productive. Instead of thinking and procrastinating too much, just dive right into it. Don’t listen to that little voice in your head that’s beating you down.
You get what you train for
Make sure you choose the type of training that best addresses what you’re hoping to accomplish, whether it be weight loss or just feeling healthier. There are several different types of training to choose from – yoga, mindfulness, core, high intensity, pure strength training, body building and more. Getting a personal trainer to help you decide what’s best might be a good option for starting out.
Progress requires change
When your body adapts to these new changes, you’ll want to keep changing up your routine so that you don’t plateau. The sooner the better. Having the right meal plan that compliments your training will also be essential. If you’re happy with where you are and just maintaining, then that’s fine as well. However, if you just can’t seem to manage getting rid of that extra little bit of fat or you’re not feeling in great shape, then try incorporating a new program into your routine. It might help to bring a partner along that will help you change things up and motivate you to keep pushing on.
Thanks for reading – stay tuned for more posts from the Busy Bee Fitness Experts.