Along your fitness journey, you may have encountered a fitness hack or two that didn't turn out to be so smart after all. Health and fitness myths, not to mention diet myths) are everywhere! Do you remember the one about eating cabbage soup for every meal? Or what about the one where in order to lose weight you should work out every day? Leave it to us! We'll help you learn to look out for the fitness myths out there and get you on the path to success.
Vital Note: This article has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Your licensed healthcare professional can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen.
Myth 1: Cardio (& more cardio) is key
In reality, more is not always better when it comes to doing cardiovascular training. And did you know that all cardio is also not created equal? If you work out on the elliptical machine five times a week and you're not seeing results, you need to mix up your workouts.
You can try increasing your intensity or adding in speed workouts. You should also add in strength training with your cardio. Excess cardio without resistance can be extremely problematic and can set you up for injury. Mix it up and make every workout a bit challenging!
Myth 2: The scale is the bottom line
If your measuring stick is the bathroom scale, you might actually be setting yourself up to fail. If you want to lose weight, weigh yourself just once a week to measure your progress (or not at all) and leave it at that. For some, using a scale is actually more unhealthy — it's important to remember health isn't just a number on the scale.
Significant change won't happen overnight. In fact, your weight often fluctuates several pounds each day. If you check the scale every day, it's like turning into your own micromanaging boss. Focus on other incredible measuring tools like how much weight you can lift, how well your push-ups are improving, or even how well your clothes start to fit. Pay attention to these important milestones in your journey and you won't need a scale to tell you otherwise!
Myth 3: Going gluten-free is the best weight loss diet
You can't walk down an aisle at the grocery store without seeing at least one item labeled "gluten-free." But the problem is, food companies are jumping on the gluten-free craze for all the wrong reasons.
Unless you're allergic or intolerant, you could be bypassing healthy nutrients like vitamin B and D that are found in whole grains. But since many companies know that weight loss can be a common side effect of going gluten-free, they will do anything to promote it, whether or not it's right for you. Consult your physician to make sure your diet is well-balanced.
Myth 4: Lifting heavy weights will bulk you up
Time and time again, there's been this nasty rumor that lifting heavy weights will make your muscles bulk up like the Incredible Hulk. In order to increase your size, you would need to lift extremely heavy weights often and increase your calorie intake among other things. Even guys who naturally have more testosterone often have a hard time getting bigger. Lifting heavy can actually help you lose weight, lean out, and help you get physically stronger. That bulking myth? Busted!
While we all want to know how to get in shape and stay healthy in a way that fits our lifestyle, some advice just doesn't add up. If a trendy diet or workout sounds a little too good to be true, it might just be. The bottom line is, do your research and more importantly, listen to your body!