Are you on the path to healthier living? Good for you! Just beware that you may stumble across some information that rings true, but isn't exactly based on facts. To help you steer clear of these exercise traps, we've busted three of the most common fitness myths.
1. Short workouts are for quitters
We've got some good news: you don't have to work out for two hours a day, six days a week to be in good shape. The American Council on Exercise recommends that for general health, you should work out for about thirty minutes per day three to five days a week (and you can break those sessions up into ten-minute chunks, if you need to).
If you push yourself too hard for too long you can injure yourself, which means you'll have to take time off to heal, and that can really derail you fitness program. Overtraining can also lead to inflammation, exhaustion, and even burnout, where you just can't stand the thought of working out for one more minute, and you give up completely. When it comes to good health, consistency is the real key, so pick a time of day that works best for you and find an exercise you love. This can help you stick to a fitness schedule so working out becomes a habit, and that can lead to years of healthier living.
2. Weight lifting is only for bodybuilders
We're not going to lie; there are some of us (cough yours truly cough cough) who really, REALLY wish this weren't a myth. If you're a cardio lover, you may find yourself turning up your nose at the thought of lifting, especially if you're a female who's worried about bulking up. But weight training can bring huge results to anyone's fitness routine, because it adds lean muscle mass to your frame.
This provides a double bonus: not only will it help you look leaner and slimmer, but lean muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, which means the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you're burning all the time, not just when you're working out.
And if you're a woman, don't worry about getting bulky. Women's bodies don't have the same chemical makeup as men's, so it's almost impossible for us to build muscle like they do. So grab your new BlenderBottle SportMixer, mix up a protein shake and hit those weights!
(Pssst. For info on a great way to maximize your results when weight lifting, check out our "Supersets" post by clicking here!)
3. The only way to 6-pack abs is crunches‚ lots of them
Crunches are definitely a good way to work your abdominal muscles, but they shouldn't be your only focus if you're trying for a slimmer midsection. Your ab workout needs to be part of a total-body fitness plan.
Why? Because even though doing crunches and other ab-specific exercise will help add muscle to your stomach, you won't see the results of any of that hard work if those muscles are covered with a layer of fat. Engaging in a total-body fat-burning program is the best way to slim down all over and gain a flatter, sexier tummy.