8 Exercise Myths That Won’t Die
“No pain, no gain”—that’s probably an exercise saying you believe. And why wouldn’t you? It sounds about right and hey, it rhymes! But that doesn’t mean it’s fact. What is true is there are plenty of catchy workout ideas that are just exercise myths that won’t go away. Like these.
Lactic acid and muscles
When you have that soreness in your muscles after a workout, you might believe that’s lactic acid filling up your body. Bad image, right? Acid in your muscles? So you do things like have a carb-heavy snack before your workout to fight this buildup.
It’s micro tears
That soreness is normal—it’s just little micro tears. When these repair, your muscles build more fibers which help them grow.
You can decide where you lose weight
You see women with teeny, tiny stomachs and huge butts and assume they did something called “spot training”—targeting one area with specific exercises to just lose weight there.
Those women are either just blessed or had plastic surgery. The only way to lose weight in any one part of your body is to lose weight over your whole body.
Treadmills are easiest on your knees
If you love to run, you might buy a treadmill because you assume it absorbs the shock that would otherwise go to your knees.
It makes no difference
Running puts a lot of pressure on your joints, which will eventually deteriorate your knees. It doesn’t matter if it’s the treadmill or the hard ground.
Stretching is only a good thing
If you’ve ever gotten an injury while working out, you may have blamed your lack of stretching. Stretching prevents injuries…right?
Stretching can actually have an adverse effect, causing your muscles to spasm when you begin to workout. What you want to do is warm up—so do a very mild, brief version of the workout you plan on doing, before diving into the full thing.
Swimming is the best for burning calories
A lot of people love the almost zero-gravity workout of swimming. It’s certainly a great way to use all of your body at once. But does it actually help you burn tons of calories?
Maybe if you’re a dolphin
Unfortunately you’d have to be swimming several hours a day to see serious weight loss. The zero gravity you love about it is also why swimming isn’t the biggest calorie-burner; your body doesn’t have to work very hard.
You’re supposed to be sore
Speaking of soreness, you probably have learned to love the burn. If you’re in pain the day after a workout, you think that’s the sign of a good workout. You love limping around the office, bragging about your hike.
Only in the beginning…
If you’re new to working out out then your muscles will naturally be sore, but they should adjust. If you are still really sore after every workout, several months into your routine, you’re over doing it.
Weights and weight loss
You might go to the gym and do the treadmill for weight loss and the lift weights to build muscle. To you, those two things are totally separate.
Lifting weights can aid in weight loss
Lifting weights can actually, indirectly, aid in weight loss. It’s true that it builds muscle, but the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate and that aids in weight loss.
You have to sweat to burn calories
Maybe you don’t leave the gym until you’re drenched in sweat. Or, maybe you just don’t work out because you hate to sweat, so you figure, “What’s the point? I’m not burning calories.”
You can stay dry
Sweat is not an indicator of a good workout. You can burn plenty of calories through light exercises like walking or lightweight training, it just might take a bit longer.