It is hard enough to start a new fitness regime without being told lots of facts that can put you off. As with many things in life however, many of these facts are actually fiction and should not sway you from beginning your fitness journey.
We have taken a look at some of these fitness myths to find out the truth and hopefully encourage you to take your first steps into the world of the workout!
Unfortunately the answer is no. Spot reduction is not possible, as the body burns fat at an overall rate rather than in one particular place. You can build muscle in the area that you choose, but fat will be broken down as and when the body requires it for fuel, from wherever it is available.
Although some may believe it’s best to work out before you eat as you can burn more calories, it can actually cause issues to hinder your exercise. You may feel lightheaded through the lack of food, which can be dangerous if you are using weighted equipment. It can also reduce the amount of energy that you have in readiness of the session, leaving you more lethargic with less stamina and ready to give up more easily.
If you are new to exercise you will likely ache after your first few sessions, or if you are an experienced gym bunny and work really hard. This is totally normal. However, if you are having pains through any of your body during the session, you should stop and speak to an instructor or consult your doctor. Actual pain is not normal and could be a sign of an injury or illness, so it is always best to get it checked out.
A common worry for women, this is actually a myth. It is actually quite hard to build muscle, so lifting a few weights a week will not have an effect, although it may help to burn a few calories. Women do not have testosterone, which is what encourages muscle growth, meaning men seem to build muscle more easily. You also need to eat more calories than what you burn, which is why weight lifters will often go through a bulking technique of eating more food than most people are comfortable with.
Exercising daily is ok as long as you don’t push yourself too hard. Most trainers will suggest that you have rest days to allow your body to recover, or at least rest part of your body and work on another. This is why people often talk about having an arm or leg day.
Not at all! You will actually sweat more as you gain fitness, as your body works to stabilise your temperature and cool you down.
Sometimes yes, as your body will be looking to refuel after it has been put through its paces. This is where you need to make the right choices in what you eat, as going for the fattiest, most calorie dense foods will undo all of the good work you have just done.
Generally speaking, no. If you have underlying conditions such as arthritis, then it can cause problems, so it is best to speak to a specialist before you start. If you are otherwise healthy and are getting pains in your knees, then it may be that you are running with poor technique which can then cause damage.
For most people this is not a problem, as you will generally exercise, shower, eat and relax, before going to bed. This gives your adrenaline levels a chance to stabilise and can actually help you to fall asleep more easily.
This will depend on the amount of calories you consumed and the type of food that you ate. Some foods are easier to remove from the system, but fatty ones tend to stick around a little longer and have a higher calorie value, so your standard exercise routine may not be enough to burn off what you have eaten.