Did you know that every Friday the 13th retailers lose between $800-$900 million in business because many people are too superstitious to go about their normal days?
If you think that is crazy, ask yourself these questions…
Have you ever stopped yourself from pulling out a gray hair, for fear that two more would grow in its place?
As a kid, did you worry that sitting too close to a television screen might actually make you go blind?
Did you ever tell someone not to crack their knuckles, or else they would get arthritis?
These are just some popular myths that most of us believe. They’ve been around for generations. Even with all the advances in science and technology, people still cling to these old wives tales in hopes that they will keep them safe, healthy, and happy.
The fitness world is no different.
In fact, I believe that the wonderful world of fitness is actually inundated with some pretty crazy theories that don’t actually hold any scientific merit.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more common myths out there….
Myth #1: No Pain, No Gain
How many of us heard this one growing up in our PE classes??!! The truth is – exercise should NEVER be painful or uncomfortable! This goes double for those who are in treatment or are new to exercise. We recommend that you take time to find an exercise you enjoy, then gradually increase time to at least 30 minutes a session. Once you are able to comfortably complete this duration, then you may begin to gradually increase exercise intensity. At all times, you should still be able to talk. If you can’t speak, chances are you’re working too hard!
Myth #2: You Should Stretch Before Your Workout
Again, this makes me think of my high school gym class. We were sure to stretch before we were hit in the head with a dodge ball!! Well, no offense to my old gym teacher, but research shows that static stretching before exercise can actually impede performance. Instead, get your body ready for activity by increasing blood flow with low-intensity cardio (i.e. walking), and dynamic movements like arm circles and leg swings. Save static stretching for after your workout. You’ll have a better workout and feel more energized!
Myth #3: Lifting Weights Will Make Me Bulky
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this one!!!
Ladies….hear me on this….testosterone is the hormone needed to build muscles. Chances are, you don’t have enough testosterone to gain an excessive amount of muscle mass (and if you did, you would probably already know it). Bottom line – please, please, please don’t be afraid to pick up those weights. Weightlifting will help boost your metabolism, build bone density, and increase your muscular strength! Just do it!!!
Myth #4: Sweating Will Detoxify Your Body
Here’s the deal – I love hot yoga. Mostly because I’m always cold. However, a few years back I took a class with a new instructor who told me that sweat would help me release toxins from my body. Actually, sweating is one of the least efficient ways to detoxify the body. Sweat is primarily composed of water and tiny bits of carbohydrate, protein, urea, and salt. Therefore, only about 1% of toxins are expelled via sweat. The remaining 99% are expelled via the kidneys and liver. Bottom line – stay hydrated! Simply going to the bathroom is a much better way to detoxify your body!
Myth #5: You Should Only Work Out in the Mornings
As a non-morning person, this one really gets me. People will tell you that working out in the morning will boost your metabolism and set the stage for healthier choices throughout the day. However, a study by the Journal of Physiology found that exercising between 1 and 4 pm can help you refocus and increase your metabolism. On the other hand, some will say that hitting the gym after a full day of work is the best way to refresh their brain and body for the evening ahead. Bottom line: The best workout is the one you actually will do! If you’re an early bird, go ahead and do your early morning workout. If you’re not…..then don’t! Find the best time for your body and just do that!