Myths are widely held beliefs or ideas, mostly handed down as traditions through generations. All of us have grown up with some of the other myth or thought process which our parents and grandparents would have, at some time, spoken to us about. Likewise, there are some health and fitness myths too which determine our thinking and plan ahead when it comes to health. What could these be and are they always true? Also, some notions which could have been true earlier, may not hold true now; thanks to new research.
Myth: Crunches are the key to flat abs.
Fact: They may be the best abdominal exercise around, but not the only way to have a slim midsection. “Since they don’t burn off a lot of calories, they don’t help in a major way with fat loss,” says Wayne Westcott, PhD, professor of exercise science at Quincy College in Quincy, Mass. They do tone the abs but they may not necessarily result in a flat stomach for example. What one requires are exercises which engage the entire core. Doing planks and bridges may help more dramatically.
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Myth: The more you sweat, the more the calorie burn
Fact: This may not mean that you are losing calories. Sweat is a biological response that cools your skin and regulates internal body temperature. It could just be the result of an overheated studio, the weather or your personal body type which results in sweating.
Myth: You need to sweat for 45 minutes to get a health benefit.
Fact: Even a half an hour a day or just 10 minutes are enough to enhance cardiovascular health. Recent studies talk about the power of short workouts and some even suggest that these sessions could be better. In research from Arizona State University published last year, people had consistently lower blood pressure readings on an average when they split their daily walk into three 10-minute segments rather than tackling one 30-minute stroll. However, they also added that though a short walk may be good to keep the body active, a more rigorous regime may be required for weight loss.
Myth: More gym time is better.
Fact: If you work out every single day, you could injure yourself or overtrain, which keeps your muscles from rebounding and your body from improving. Rest is integral to the whole process. Take regular breaks and make the workout a good mix of different exercises.
Apart from these, some facts which are actually true but we tend to miss them are as follows –
True Fact: Skipping sleep CAN cause weight gain.
Women in an American Journal of Epidemiology study who slept less than seven hours were more likely to gain weight; other research has shown that even partial sleep deprivation enhances production of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger.
True Fact: Yoga ISN’T a big calorie burner.
While doing yoga does improve flexibility and strength, it’s not much of aerobic activity.
True Fact: Lifting weights WON’T bulk you up.
Women typically have less muscle tissue and produce lower levels of testosterone than men. This means they are less likely to be brawny than their male counterparts.
Being healthy is extremely subjective. Rather than following myths and notions it is important to understand our own physique, body type and then decide the best course of action.