Fitness

Top five exercise myths

Think you know all the facts and fiction about getting fit? Exercise physiologist and nutritionist Caitlin Reid busts the most common exercise myths.
1. Lifting weights will make women 'bulky'
This is simply just not true, as women don't have enough of the male anabolic hormone testosterone, which is required to build large and bulky muscles. Weight training is just as important for woman as it is for men, as it increases strength, improves balance, reduces the likelihood of injuries, keeps bones strong and helps with weight maintenance. Include two to three weight-training sessions each week and enjoy the benefits minus the bulk.
2. Exercise turns fat into muscle
Fat and muscle are two entirely difference tissues composed of different cells, therefore it's impossible to turn fat into muscle. With exercise you can lose fat and increase the amount of muscle you have, but the two will never convert into the other. Regular exercise is a great way to reduce body fat, while increasing your muscle mass at the same time.
3. You can choose where you lose weight
When it comes to weight loss, spot reduction is just not possible. Exercise use energy from fat and carbohydrates stores all around your body, not just from around the muscles doing the work. So, if you want to lose weight from your stomach you need to lose weight from all over.
4. A cardio work-out boosts your metabolism for hours after your work-out
While exercise does increase your metabolism after your work-out, it's not as large as what many people think. In fact, this metabolic boost following exercise only burns an extra 84 kilojoules — equivalent to about one Jelly Baby. So don't think you can eat whatever you like after your work-out.
5. To have a good work-out you need to sweat
Sweating is your body's cooling down mechanism — it doesn't necessarily indicate how hard you are working. It's possible to complete a great work-out without sweating. Going for a walk, practising yoga or going for a swim are all great work-outs that provide a number of health benefits such as boosting heart health, but don't necessarily make you sweat.
6. No pain, no gain
Taking on this mantra increases the risk of injury. While exercise can be intense and cause some level of discomfort during and even for a couple of days after, pain is not required for a successful work-out. If you're feeling pain during a work-out stop for a minute and see if it goes away. If it doesn't, there is a good chance you have an injury.
The bottom line is that moderate exercise can improve your fitness. It also contributes to overall physical and mental health — it's not just about body weight. The sooner you accept the truth about exercise, the closer you'll be to achieving your desired results.
Your say: What exercise myths are keeping you from achieving your goals?

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