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By: Lisa Payne

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 bypass some of the false info that’s out there and get you on the right path to success.

Myth #1: Cardio, cardio and more cardio!

More is not always better when it comes to doing cardiovascular training. But 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, your cardio method is just not working. Increase your intensity or incorporate interval training with strength training instead. Excess cardio without resistance can be extremely problematic. Mix it up and make it challenging at every workout!

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 and leave it at that. 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!

fitness myths

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 is 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, increase your calorie intake, and — if you’re a woman — create more testosterone. 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!