7 Foolish Fitness Follies
April Fool’s Day is a chance to celebrate our foolishness with silly pranks and hoaxes on family and friends. However, we often play practical jokes on ourselves that do more harm than we intend, especially when it comes to our health and fitness.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, over two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. These startling statics tell us the importance of health and fitness education and that it is not something we should fool around with. There are so many misconceptions about working out that we hear often, so we decided to roundup some of the most common.
- I need to get in shape to go to the gym.
- Cardio is the best way to lose weight.
- No pain, no gain.
- I have to push myself to max effort to see results.
- Weights will bulk me up
- I worked out so hard today, so I deserve to treat myself.
- Cardio machines give me a very accurate read on the number of calories I burned
The gym is not a beauty pageant. It is a place to do the dirty work needed in order to live a long, happy and healthy life. Who are you trying to impress? Like anything else, working out takes practice to master and just getting there is half the battle. If you keep waiting for the right time to start working out, that time will never appear.
While Cardio is “a” way to lose weight, it is not the only way or the best way. Try to vary your workouts, mixing in plyometrics and stretching along with Cardio. Weight lifting is a great way to target fat loss in particular, as weight lifting will keep your metabolism pumping even after you finish working out.
If something hurts beyond a typical muscle burn, stop what you’re doing. If you don’t receive the proper guidance on form or how to execute a tricky workout move, it can be dangerous and lead to serious injury. Always check with your instructor or consult with a personal trainer on how to execute certain exercise movements if you haven’t been taught before. Peruse this list of common workout mistakes to make sure you are using proper form.
It is better to workout smart then just give max effort until you self-combust. Depending on your health and fitness goals, you should plan and execute workouts that have you transitioning between multiple heart rate zones. The notion that you have to give continuous max effort to get a good workout is one of many heart rate training myths that have sprung up over the years.
This one is mostly for the ladies who fear lifting weights will lead to bulky muscles. Unless you’re eating more calories than you burn, then you won’t bulk up. Since woman lose muscle mass with age, it’s important to add weight and strength training into your fitness routine. Lifting weights also helps build bone density which is very important for females as well. Always lift a weight that’s heavy enough that you find it challenging.
Don’t reward yourself with fattening food–it will just derail all the hard work you did. No matter how hard you workout, you can out eat any fitness program. Maintaining a healthy and well-balance diet is essential to supplementing your workouts.
On a related note, just because you completed a hard workout does not permit you to be a couch potato. Daily activity is important, and you should try to reach 10,000 steps everyday. Stumped on how to reach that benchmark? Check out our 10 Tips to Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day.
These machines use a very generalized formula to compile your caloric burn. The best way to track calories is with a Heart Rate Monitor such as the Polar H7 and a heart rate tracking app such as Fitdigits. Scoffing at the notion of bringing your iPhone with you to the gym or out on a run? Try The Saddle, the new and innovative way to take your iPhone with you while you exercise. It mounts right on your wrist for easy access and viewing and features a lightweight design that makes you barely notice it is there.