The world of fitness abounds in myths and half-truths, some of which may be harmless. In the age of speed and information it has become increasingly common to take misinformation for granted. However, some of these myths pose a real risk of injury and may be keeping you from where you need to get.
No pain, no gain
This myth holds the most potential for harm when it comes to working out, as you may be tempted to dismiss or ignore pain thinking it’s all for the better. Things could not be any less true. While it’s okay for your muscles to feel sore up to two days after a training session, feeling pain during your workout is a sign of trouble – either you are doing the exercises wrong or you already have an injury that you may not be aware of. Don’t work out through the pain. Instead, stop and see if the pain goes away. If it doesn’t or it begins again or intensifies, you should go see a doctor.
Not exerted? Work harder!
Killing yourself is not the purpose of working out. You’re not supposed to feel like you got hit by a bus after every training session and by keeping it up like this, the risk of suffering an injury is higher. On the same note, sweat is not a reliable indicative of how hard you’re working out. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself and as we all know, bodies are all different from each other. It’s possible to burn a significant number of calories by simply taking a walk and not breaking a sweat. It’s not about working hard so much as working smart.
Crunches rid you of belly fat
Any veteran or professional in this field could tell you that crunches are an ineffective way to get that six-pack you’re aiming for. While they may tone your abdominal muscles, the fat covering those is a whole different story. Instead of just doing crunches obsessively, try doing a combination of cardio and strength training for an overall body fat content decrease. Remember: a six-pack equals interval training plus an effective use of carbs, adequate sleep and stress levels as well as the right training moves.
Swimming is a great weight loss activity
While swimming is great for improved lung capacity and toning your muscles, the truth is that it would take hours of swimming every day to help you lose weight. Due to the buoyancy of water, you are not working out as hard as you would in the gym. Another downside is that it may also cause you to eat more than usual.