There is so much information out there on the ‘best way’ to exercise. Hundreds of fitness chains claim that their unique exercise technique burns the most calories and builds the most muscle thereby making their program the most effective way to workout! Thousands of blogs, books and videos have been created on the topic. To make things more confusing, many of the various fitness styles contradict one another. Regardless of all of the confusion, do you think you’re pretty educated on exercising and the best way to do it? If so, read these 3 statements and tell me if you think they are fitness myths or facts…
1.If I lift weights and I’m a female, I’ll get bulky…
Women, don’t be concerned about getting big and bulky by adding weight training into your fitness regime.
Why? Naturally, women have higher levels of estrogen, and much lower levels of the muscle-building hormone testosterone versus males. To get as big as they get, female body builders must often spend three to five hours every day in the gym trying to achieve their large muscle mass that many other women want to avoid. It’s so challenging for women to increase their muscle size, that many female body builders turn to anabolic steroids for assistance. So don’t fear strength training, it’s critical to your health.
2. Stretching Prevents Muscle Soreness the Next Day
This one is surprising to a lot of people, in fact, I was a bit surprised learning this myself. Pain after exercising results from inflammation due to micro tearing in your muscles that exercise caused. Stretching can’t help with healing these micro tears, only a rest and recovery period enables the tears to heal. Stretching does however, have a lot of fitness benefits. It helps increase your range of motion and flexibility, which is important to prevent exercise injuries. It also helps to relax and destress you. If it feels good to end a workout by stretching, go for it!
Here’s one of my favourite stretches:
3. ‘Core’ is another Word for ‘Abdominals’
The core is more than simply our abdominal muscles. It consists of everything from our pelvic muscles all the way up to our diaphragm. In the front, it’s the rectus abdominis (the ‘6-pack’) + obliques (side abs) + transversus abdominis (deep core). In the back, it’s the spinal extensors (cord-like muscles running along spine) + quadratus lumborum (deep back muscles connecting ribs to hips) + the glutes (butt). These muscle groups are critical to our overall body strength so I spend a lot of time exercising them. I always say that a healthy, sturdy core, leads to healthy, stronger limbs. In my experience, you can’t have strong legs or arms without solid core strength.
To Sum it up…3 Fitness Myths
Did you test your knowledge by figuring out if the 3 statements above, were fitness myths or facts? If so, how did you do? It’s OK if you were unclear on the answers, exercising properly can be tricky. There is so much information available in the form of blogs, books and videos about fitness. To make things even more confusing, many of the various exercise styles are built on contradicting information.
So what can you do to make exercise simpler and safer for you? Build up your strength, weight lifting is important. Give yourself rest and recovery periods between your fitness sessions; if stretching feels right, do it. Remember to strengthen your core muscles, which are a lot more than just your abdominals. Overall, listen to your body; if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. And if you’re ever unsure of your exercise form, reach out to a fitness professional and ask if you’re doing things correctly.