#1 To lose weight I must only do cardioThe most common myth that people hear or read is that in order to achieve weight loss - your exercise routines must consist of cardiovascular exercise only. Cardiovascular exercise (also known as aerobic exercise) is exercise that increases your heart rate and oxygen in the blood, alternatively strengthening your heart and lungs (1). Examples of cardio are exercises such as; running, swimming, cycling, brisk walking, etc. During aerobic exercise, calories lost (energy) will come from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These are your macronutrients which are the building blocks for muscle. When exercising with resistance, you're using muscle which helps to build muscle, muscle tissue and burns more calories. Even at rest your body will continue to burn these calories (2). "10lbs of muscle burns 50kcal a day at rest whilst 10lbs of fat burns 20kcal at rest" - Wharton. Therefore even if muscle gain isn't your objective, it's important to exercise with resistance through body weight exercises or weight training. Did you know that after a cardio session your calorie burn stops, whereas with weight training your body continues to work for the next 72 hours to not only repair and grow your muscles, but to return your body's levels of enzymes and chemicals back to normal (3).
#2 Because I'm exercising I can eat whatever I likeWrong. Your diet is key to the optimal functioning of all organs within the body. Your diet impacts on your mood, energy and general health and well being. Exercising won't cancel out all of the junk food that you've eaten, instead you're rewarding yourself with the calories that you've just lost - therefore you will see no change. You need to make sure that you're eating an adequate amount of macros needed for your goal (whether it's weight loss, maintenance or muscle gain). This also stands for those, bodybuilders in particular who indulge in junk carbs with the main aim to gain weight. Low GI clean carbohydrates are essential for keeping your blood sugars in line and avoiding energy spikes and crashes. As well as your macronutrients, it's essential that your diet consists of micronutrients which are found in fruit and vegetables. As well as many beneficial vitamins and minerals, fruits contain antioxidants which fight the free radicals and oxidation of cells within the body, protecting your immunity and organs.
#3 I don't ache after my workout so I mustn't of worked hard enoughProgress shouldn't be measured by the amount of pain that you feel during or after a workout - progress should be measured by results. By results I mean physical changes and improvements to your health. It's important to understand that everyone's body's react differently to a workout - whilst some may sweat during a 1km treadmill run, you may stay as clean as a whistle. And it's the same with resistance workouts - other's may ache and be stiff the next day whilst you're surprisingly untouched. Now this doesn't mean that you haven't worked hard enough, this is entirely dependent on your body and your lifestyle. Do you have an active job and lift heavy objects on a daily basis compared to the office worker who sits down at a desk all day?
#4 The only way to achieve abs is to do crunches everydayThe most common ab exercises for fitness newbies are abs and crunches - and whilst they have their benefits, there's a lot more work that you need to do in order to achieve abs. The abdominals are made up of 4 muscles which are the; rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques. Certain exercises are required in order to target each muscles group, which is why you need to mix up your exercises. You will also not achieve abs just from workouts, a huge part of growing the muscle and having them noticeable revolves around your diet and water retention. Many people carry fat in different area's of their body, and whilst fat can't be lost on one specific area, and overall reduction in body fat will help those abs to pop! You also need to be weary of how much water you're holding around your stomach, as this can result in bloating. Referencing
- aerobic-exercises. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved February 12, 2018
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