10 exercise myths

Health

10 exercise myths

Fuelling Your Body

BY FITZ-GEORGE
RATTRAY

Sunday, July 26, 2020

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WITH advertising and the Internet contributing to an explosion of information without the requisite tools for people to debunk fitness 'facts', let's explore the three categories of fitness 'facts'.

1. General public 'facts': This is what advertisers, industries and passed-down information imposes on the minds of the public, for their own financial gains or from weak-minded individuals.

2. Gym/bro 'facts': Often spouted by gym neophytes, long-time fitness enthusiasts, fitness buffs, instructors, and trainers. These are loaded with a mixture of general public information and gym dogma, built on years of analogies, remote personal stories, and part truths.

3. The scientific facts: The only safe, reliable, accurate information. In the world of sports science, physiology, kinesiology, anatomy, microbiology, biochemistry, and physical therapy, there have been thousands of peer-reviewed, double-blind human studies. From these we can compile and apply true, safe and effective scientific facts — the only kind of information that should be applied to long-term human wellness goals.

The scientific facts allow us the knowledge and critical thinking to dispel many of the myths that waste people's time, create counterproductive mindsets, undermine health goals, and, over time, often result in crippling damage.

Here are a few fitness myths which can retard our fitness goals and wellness:

Can you lose weight by exercising?

Myth 1

Cardio, CrossFit, boot camp, and aerobic exercises burn fat and are better than weight training for weight loss.

Fact

Cardio, CrossFit, boot camp, and aerobic exercises do not “burn” fat, they “burn” blood glucose and stored glycogen, which you will replace in your very next meal. The fact is, less than four vigorous hours per day as a competitive athlete, will not have significant effect on your rate of fat loss.

Vigorous exercise and fat loss is a multigenerational myth stemming from most people's lack of knowledge about human metabolism and efficiency.

However, increased muscle mass through progressive resistance exercise will result in an increased basal metabolic rate, that is, you will burn more fat even at rest. This effect is priceless for long-term weight management.

Additionally, visually, we are made up of four main tissues, bones, muscle, fat, and skin. As fat is lost, the loose skin appearance can increase. Weight training builds muscle to take up the loose space created between the bone and the skin as fat is lost, helping you to maintain a healthy look.

Exercise has many health and life quality benefits, but direct fat loss is not one of them.

Myth 2

A hard workout will help me lose weight.

Fact

Exercising hard is not a path to fat loss or fat loss maintenance, unless, of course, you are a competitive athlete training four or more hours per day. You are an efficient entity so:

• Your extreme workout may allow you to expend an additional 400 or so calories in an hour. The more often you do this workout is the less calories you will expend.

• Your workout will likely stoke your appetite.

• Your body will adapt your energy expenditure around your daily caloric intake.

Expecting to work off poor eating is a distraction, a false understanding that is giving a false sense of security. In many cases, it has led to naturally slim individuals eating poorly and working out, and believing this is a solution, they continue their poor eating until they have a stroke, end up on a cardiac surgeon's table or facing cancer treatment.

Myth 3

You can work off a bad meal. I am eating cake at a birthday party so I'll go work out tomorrow.

Fact

That is entirely false. You can never work off a bad meal, it will be triggering fat stores long before you do that workout. We are very efficient creatures so the only good choice is to eat consistently well, and when you do indulge, get immediately back to your clean lifestyle and it will take care of the rest.

Myth 4

Exercise helps to burn fat and undo poor eating.

Fact

I must repeat this theme, as it is such a hindrance to many individuals' weight loss, maintenance and health. We can categorically say that exercise is of no significance in sustaining a healthy body weight, and cannot undo the damage of a poor diet — even if that poor diet is not fattening.

Exercise can enforce your wellness mindset and has hundreds of physical and mental benefits, but unless you train four hours a day like a professional athlete, fat loss is not one of them and it will never undo poor food choices and eating habits.

Myth 5

You can burn off fat from a specific body part with specific exercises.

Fact

Spot reduction is a mammoth myth. Saying, “Lose belly fat”, is a much more targeted and easier sell than, saying, “Lose all your excess body fat so your belly fat will go as well”.

Your body has no mechanism to utilise fat stores from a specific area. Your energy pool is accessed primarily on genetics, and to an extent, your diet.

Body composition, look and shape

Myth 6

Fat can turn into muscle, and muscle can turn into fat.

Fact

Fat can never turn into muscle, nor can muscle ever turn into fat. Fat is stored in the body as reserve energy and is utilised in the production of hormones or in various biological functions. There is no magical 'turning fat to muscle', as these hydrocarbon chains are not about to magically become an amino acid in our bodies. If a muscular person stops maintaining their muscularity but maintains the same caloric intake as their more muscular and metabolic active self, they will be ingesting excess calories and this action will increase their fat levels.

Myth 7

Lifting heavy weights can make a woman bulk up and look “tough” and manlike.

Fact

Weight training will not make the average woman appear “tough”. Testosterone is the muscle-building hormone, which men produce in their testicles and have many times more of; this helps them to become much more muscular than women when lifting weights.

In fact, researchers have found that women who lift heavier weights have a more streamlined and healthy appearance as well as improved health markers. Anabolic steroids or natural hormone imbalance are the only ways for a woman to develop this “manly” or “tough” appearance that many women fear.

Eating and exercising

Myth 8

Beginning a workout regimen will make you gain weight even if you are adhering to a proper weight loss diet.

Fact

Working out will never make you gain muscle fast enough for your weight to increase while you are attempting to lose fat.

The average person can only gain one to two pounds of muscle per month, but should be able to lose at least four to eight pounds of fat per month.

The weight gain in the first few days to a week may be attributed to some water retention in the sore muscles, but that will regulate itself quickly.

Any weight gain when beginning a workout is more likely attributed to increased cravings and mindlessly increasing meals, snacking, increased portions, a generally poor diet, and non-adherence to meal regiments.

Do not be reactive, your body is very able. Any workout you are likely to begin will not demand more calories, for the little 10 per cent or more calories per day you may need to allow your body to use up those fat stores you are trying to manage.

Myth 9

You cannot work out with an empty stomach.

Fact

The only issues connecting working out on an empty stomach are psychological and diabetic. If you are healthy, your body has effective stores of short-term and long-term energy.

Researchers have found that in fasted train (training without eating for a while, including overnight), blood sugar levels rise without eating taking place, but from sugar stored in the liver.

Studies have even shown that fasted exercise can help you become “fat-adapted”, allowing for more effective and efficient fat-burning capabilities.

Myth 10

You need to eat more if you are working out or working out makes you hungry.

Fact

You do not need to randomly crank up your food intake because you are working out for a few minutes each day.

Your one 40- to 60-minute, 200- to 400-calorie burning workout will not make you physiologically hungry, but perhaps psychologically hungry. Responding to these cravings will unravel your weight management goals. Give yourself time, the fact is, your body will adapt.

Initially, you may believe that you should be eating more and this may feed your cravings. The fact is, once you do not fall for this myth, your system will become more efficient over time and even decrease your cravings. And, need for energy replacement can comfortably come from existing energy stores.

Even the much spoken about “optimal post-workout nutrition window” has now been discovered to be any time within 24 hours after each workout. You should, however, look objectively at the possibility of minor adjustments to your protein intake and stay hydrated during and after your workout.

These 10 myths have done more damage than is countable. Do not allow them to make you blindly throw away your wellness and years of your life. What you don't know will hurt you.

You have the facts, memorise them, keep a printout, save them somewhere, contact us. Whatever you do, keep this information on hand and enjoy and live your life at its healthiest and fullest.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863- 5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org.


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