Exercise Myth Busters #36

Fasting will help you lose more weight

To build a lean, healthy body then you must eat. You can’t starve off the unwanted fat, rather you must work with your body and supply it with the energy that it requires to exercise safely and effectively and get through the day. Your body will fight back if you fast by burning its fat stores more slowly as it fears it will run out of energy and insulation.  It will also break down your muscle and you will become highly fatigued, weak and your immune system will begin to fail in the long-term. There is also the risk you will start binge eating on anything and everything and eventually when you stop fasting you will regain the weight you lost in the first place.



Exercise Myth Busters #35

No pain, No gain.

This myth is one of the most common misconceptions about getting fit. There are very intense people who push themselves to ridiculous lengths to feel pain while they are exercising, that is their choice and most of them have been exercising for years and gradually built up to such a high intensity and tolerance of physical pain through exercise. But for the common exerciser pain should be a limiting factor not a target to aim for. I’m not talking about muscular fatigue and the burn you may have experienced in your muscles before, they are welcome side effects of exercise, but physical pain is not. If it hurts stop! Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right. There are always alternate exercises that can be performed without pain that will also give you a good workout and the results you’re after.



Exercise Myth Busters #34

You can lose fat from specific parts of your body if you target those areas with particular exercises

You can’t pick and choose the specific areas that you’d like to burn fat from.  In order to reduce your fat stores you need to carry-out a calorie restricted diet together with a training program that combines both cardiovascular and strength-based exercises.  Doing hours of abdominal exercises will provide basic strength to your abs, but these exercises will not eliminate any excess fat that overlies your abdominal muscles.  Only once you significantly lower your overall body fat content will you start to notice any definition in these muscles.



Exercise Myth Busters #33

Eating more protein will cause new muscle growth

Our body uses protein to rebuild muscles that have been damaged during exercise or weight training. However consuming extra protein will not simply result in you gaining extra muscle but rather for your muscle to grow and strengthen you need to provide it with a physical stimulus like exercise and weight training. This training will breakdown your muscle tissue, your body will then.

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Exercise Myth Busters #32

Aerobic exercise is better for shaping up than weight training

Whilst there are many benefits from aerobic exercise for weight loss, weight training has been proven to increase your metabolism (the rate at which you burn fat) and build lean muscle mass. As you gain muscle you burn fat as an energy source. Thus a combination of these two forms of exercise will ultimately see you achieve the best results.



Exercise Myth Busters #31

It is important to stretch before you begin exercising

It is definitely important to ensure you warm up before commencing exercise but there is no good evidence to suggest that ‘stretching your muscles’ makes much difference to your body’s capabilities and injury risk. A warm-up of 5-10 minutes of low-intensity cardiovascular exercise i.e. short jog/walk can be beneficial. Some studies have found that stretching before exercise can destabilize your muscles and may cause micro-tearing that can worsen with exercise, leading to further muscle damage and possible injury.

It is recommended that you stretch after exercise as part of a cool down to help the muscle return to its resting length. Stretching outside of exercise can also be useful to help maintain or increase flexibility which can lead to improvements in performance long term.