Exercise is extremely important, especially for those that have otherwise sedentary lifestyles. However, some that aspire towards being more active are intimidated by the implications. After all, doesn’t exercise require hours of weekly dedication? Doesn’t keeping muscle tone demand lifting enormous weights? Doesn’t burning fat require an expensive gym membership?
Of course exercise seems intimidating with all these requirements. But are any of them actually true, or are they all just myths and misconceptions?
You Need To Lift Heavy Weights
Perhaps the most commonly believed exercise myth is that all forms of working out require weight training. Not only is this not true, it is complete nonsense. Weight training is indeed popular, especially with those looking to gain impressive muscle mass. But lifting heavy weights isn’t a requirement for getting exercise. Yoga is great exercise, and all it requires is an open space of floor. Running is also great exercise, and all it requires is a treadmill, or a local park.
You Can’t Target Fat With Exercise
If you don’t much like your belly fat, or perhaps want to get rid of the extra weight on your hips, doing certain exercises will burn that fat, right? No, that’s not how it works. The body doesn’t burn specific pockets of fat depending on the exercises. Doing sit ups, for example, won’t burn the fat on your belly.
Extra weight is distributed across the body and utilised by the body in a uniform fashion. Exercise will burn fat, but only in the same fashion that it was stored. So, lowering overall fat percentage is the only way to also lose specific pockets of fat.
Exercise Requires Hours
Health gurus and celebrities work out hours a day, so it’s the only way you can work out, right? Rubbish. Unless you’re required to have a finely sculpted body as part of your job, you don’t need to work out hours a day. Most can fit in 15 to 20 minutes of light exercise after work, grab a shower, and still have time to browse Australian Open odds before dinner.
No more time is required than that, with the real challenge being consistency rather than duration. Your focus should be on getting in that exercise regularly, with no more than a 2 days break between each session.
Exercise Balances Out Diet
Another big myth that has plagued many a dieter; the belief that working out makes it okay to eat a poor diet. There is no more destructive, or more counterproductive a myth than this. Although it is true that eating a robust dinner can be countered with plenty of exercise, the problem is that the uninformed read this information the wrong way.
Going for a run certainly doesn’t justify eating a pound of chocolate. Lifting some weights is certainly not going to make a tin of condensed milk less fattening. Even a robust dinner should be carefully considered, with focus put on the right food groups. Exercise is a companion for smart eating, not a replacement for it. There is, simply put, no counter for eating garbage.