Fitness Myths Under the Microscope

Tuesday, 01. September 2015

Fitness Myths Under the Microscope

The Internet is a great thing. There is no information that cannot be found there. However, since any person can spread information about practically anything on the internet, you will also find a lot of nonsense online. There are countless opinions online regarding the field of fitness and nutrition. Many of them are so common that they are no longer scrutinized and therefore keep coming up. However, just because many people believe something does not make it is true. 

Get washboard abs by doing sit ups!

Unfortunately, this is not so simple. Doing sit-ups is a good workout for your abs. So far so good, but that alone will not get the results you want. Why can't you necessarily achieve a steely stomach just by doing sit-ups?

The answer is because most of your body's fat is stored on the abdomen and the hips. Your body fat percentage should be less than 14 percent in order for your washboard abs to venture out from their hiding place. In order to reduce your body fat to this value, proper nutrition, balanced endurance and strength training are necessary. Sit-ups alone therefore are not enough to develop the washboard abs we'd like to have. 

If you want to lose weight, you have to do sports

Please do not misunderstand, both exercise and sports are important and are also pretty darn healthy! If you want to lose weight, however, sports should be seen more as the perfect complement to nutrition. Sport alone does not guarantee weight loss. Proper nutrition plays a greater role. When it comes to losing weight, sport is therefore "overvalued". It really is quite logical. If you overeat by 1000 kcal and burn only 500 kcal through exercise, you're still not losing weight.

Myths around sweating

For some reason, there are many myths surrounding the topic of sweat. Some people believe that unfit people sweat more than fit people. In addition, you always hear that the more you sweat, the better the workout. 

Neither of these assertions is true. You sweat to regulate your body's temperature. Otherwise, you'd overheat and collapse. How much you sweat depends on the ambient temperature and your personal predisposition. (The lost fluids must be replaced by drinking.)

Sweat also does not impact weight loss. Fat is only burned when the body needs more energy than is currently available (because you have been eating less calories), and thus must rely on its fat stores.

Running harms your joints

This is another point that misses the mark. It is not training per se that harms the joints. The biggest problem is too much weight. Every extra kilo you have on your frame burdens your joints. Regular jogging helps you lose weight, which is good for the joints. By building muscle, you also support tendons and ligaments. The increased movement lubricates the joints, and cartilage is better supplied with nutrients.

Working out a lot guarantees muscles

For muscles to be built, weight training is necessary. Muscles do not grow during the workout, however. This is a common misconception. They grow during the recovery phase. If you train the same muscles every day, they do not have time to grow. Over working out can even lead to overexertion. Proper training thus should also include breaks.