The 7 Most Common Health & Fitness Myths | Stephen Coleclough PT
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The 7 Most Common Health & Fitness Myths

The 7 Most Common Health & Fitness Myths

There are thousands of health and fitness articles published online every day.

They talk about everything from the latest fad diets through to the newest superfood to hit the shelves.

Unfortunately, a lot of this content is inaccurate as it is based upon flawed research or common misconceptions.

In this article, we’ll bust a few common health and fitness myths to help you discern fact from fiction.

#1 – Exercise is the most important part of losing weight

This is a particularly nasty myth, because it sabotages the weight loss efforts of many people.

Exercise is an important part of being healthy.

It gives you more energy, extends your lifespan, and improves your appearance.

However, if you are trying to lose weight, exercise isn’t your most important concern – your diet is.

If you exercise your heart out while continuing to eat junk food, you won’t lose any weight.

That’s because weight loss requires a caloric deficit. You must consume less calories than you burn off.

Use a diet focused on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats.

A diet based around whole foods will be filling and delicious while avoiding the excessive calories obtained from junk food.

If you eat the right diet and exercise regularly, the weight will drop off in no time.

#2 – The best time of the day to work out is the morning

There is some research to indicate that you might burn off slightly more fat when exercising in the morning.

However, that doesn’t mean exercising in the morning is for you.

The best time of the day to exercise is whenever you actually enjoy it.

There is no point dragging yourself out of bed at 6 am if you are not a morning person because you won’t stick with your exercise plan.

After a week or so, you will be sleeping in again because rising at the crack of dawn is too painful!

Instead, exercise at a time that you enjoy, be it in the afternoon or late at night.

#3 – You need to drink a protein shake to solidify those gains

Protein shakes and protein bars are only useful if you have an insufficient amount of protein in your diet.

Most people who eat a healthy diet containing foods like eggs, meat, dairy, legumes, nuts, and vegetables will already be consuming enough protein to see decent gains from lifting weights.

This myth is particularly dangerous for people attempting to lose weight.

A large protein shake can contain as many as 300 calories, which is like eating another meal.

This can sabotage your ability to lose weight, as it will destroy your chances of achieving a caloric deficit.

#4 – No pain no gain

The old saying no pain no gain has been uttered thousands of times in gyms around the world.

It means that you can’t lose weight or achieve muscle gains without a certain amount of pain.

However, most public health guidelines recommend moderate intensity exercises for maintaining your health and losing weight.

Moderate exercise involves exercising at a level where you are out of breath but still able to talk to other people.

Some exercises classified as moderate exercise include a fast walk, jogging and riding a bike at moderate speed.

You don’t have to exercise at such a high intensity that your heart rate is maxed out or your face starts to turn a nasty shade of red!

Exercising at moderate intensity will also reduce the risk of injuries and allow you to put in longer sessions.

If you are attempting to lose weight, performing 45 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise will be more effective than working at a high intensity for 10 minutes before collapsing!

#5 – Heart rate monitors accurately tell you how hard you are exercising

Heart rate monitors are very useful tools for monitoring your heart rate and working out at specific intensities.

However, your heart rate alone is not an accurate metric for how hard you are working.

Your heart rate will differ based upon the kind of exercise you are performing, your fitness level, and your personal strengths.

That means someone with weak legs might reach a higher heart rate faster on a bike than they would on an elliptical – evening though they are working at the same “perceived” intensity.

How tired you are or how much you have exercised recently can also affect your heart rate.

Instead of watching your heart rate monitor like a hawk all of the time, think about your perceived exertion as well.

#6 – You can turn fat into muscle

This is another myth that makes it difficult for overweight people to lose weight.

The truth is – you can do hundreds of bicep curls, but it won’t remove much fat from your body if you are still eating too many calories.

You have to achieve a caloric deficit so the body begins to burn off fat.

#7 – Women shouldn’t do weight training

For many years, women were told that weight training was only for men.

They were told that lifting weights was unsuitable for women because it would make them look too masculine.

The reality is, anyone can lift weights.

Women greatly benefit from the health improvements that lifting weights can bring – including better posture, more energy, more strength, and less risk of osteoporosis.

Many of the hottest female celebrities lift weights regularly, including Jessica Biel and Evangeline Lilly.

Thanks for treading The 7 Most Common Health and Fitness Myths.

For more health and fitness tips, keep reading the blog!

Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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