Hello, everyone! We hope you are enjoying the July 4th holiday with friends and family and plenty of (healthy) food! Here we are going to discuss 4 common misconceptions about exercise.
#1) Stretch before you exercise.
This is something we’ve all been doing since our elementary school gym classes. You sit down, lean forward, stretch. Then stand up, pull on your leg, stretch. Move your arms around a bit and you’re ready to go! Unfortunately, this isn’t the best way to warmup and activate muscles before a workout. It can even be damaging to cold muscles. Instead, try a dynamic warmup. This simply means a low intensity movement that slowly warms up the muscles. Many clients here at Crosswhite Fitness begin their workouts by using the Rower machine for about five minutes, which gets blood flowing and the muscles working without using heavy resistance or high intensity.
#2) You need to workout as many times as possible per week.
While it is important that you’re fitting in workouts several days a week, overtraining can be hard on both the muscles and the mind. The muscles need time to recover after a workout, which includes rest, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition. Additionally, if you want to stick to a consistent lifestyle of fitness and healthy eating, you don’t want to feel like you’re always at the gym. This is a quick route to burnout, which will only lead to giving up. Commit to 2-4 days a week and try to stay active during the days you aren’t working out.
#3) It’s better to exercise at night, or the afternoon, or the morning.
There’s not a lot of science that supports one time of day is better to exercise than any other. However, there will typically be a better time for each person, depending on their personal preferences, schedule, and lifestyle. If you’re a morning person and find that you have the most energy early in the day, workout in the morning! Maybe you’d prefer to workout over lunch as a midday break. Or maybe you enjoy working out in the evening to release the stress of the day. Do what works best for YOU. It’s all about the energy you put into the workout, so find your time.
#4) Lifting weights will make women bulky.
It seems like this misconception is hopefully being slowly phased out, but it’s still something that many people believe. The “bulky” look that men can achieve through heavy weight training comes from lifting really heavy weights, eating plenty of food, and most importantly, a high level of testosterone that women don’t even come close to having. If there is a female who does look bulky, she is either ingesting steroids or training at a level most other people don’t even come close to. Adding muscle to the body increases the rate at which your body burns fat, and it increases the level of calories you burn post-workout. Additionally, it leads to that “toned” physique that many people are trying to achieve, even if they’re already thin. So don’t be afraid to train hard and lift weights!
There are many more misconceptions floating around the fitness industry than just these four, but these are some pretty common ones that people tend to have. What’s most important is finding a balanced lifestyle for the health of your body and mind and pushing yourself to be better than you were the day before.