We constantly get asked a wide variety of questions from our members and we have compiled some of the most common exercise myths we have heard. We're here to tell you if it is true or false. Now, let's gear up!
1. Do I have to work up a sweat when I am physically active for it to count?
Not necessarily. Moving your body and raising your heart rate relative to your fitness level is the most important element of physical activity. The main purpose of sweating is to cool your body down. You may sweat when you are physically active even when you are not exercising such as gardening or walking to work. If you’re a beginner to exercise, start slowly and you can expect to secrete sweat from the skin. Or, if you’re older and you don’t seem to sweat as much you used to, you may not sweat. If you are moving your body more than you usually do, you are already working towards better fitness regardless of whether you sweat or not.
2. Exercise turns fat into muscle.
False. Exercise cannot turn fat into muscle because every type of cell is unique and cannot transform from one form to another. However with exercise, particularly strength training helps build muscle, which helps you burn more calories and lose fat.
3. Abdominal crunches will make you lose belly fat.
False. You can’t control which part of your body will lose fat when you are physically active. Genetics plays a big part in controlling body composition and shape. Crunches will simply strengthen your abdominal muscles, which are underneath the layer of belly fat. However, if you balance the calories you eat with exercise to reach a desirable body weight, hopefully you will lose fat from various parts of your body, including your belly.
4. Simply reducing sedentary behaviors is not enough to improve physical fitness.
False. Research shows that cutting back on sedentary activities, such as television viewing or video games will encourage you to be more physically active. In fact, a 70 kilogram (154 lb) person who adds two (cumulative) hours per day of light movement such as leisure walking as part of a regular routine can lose an extra 15 kilograms (33 lbs) of weight per year. So, if you’re standing up, you’re already on your way to becoming healthier!
5. Restricting calories is the best way to lose weight.
False. Research has shown that changing your eating behaviors to lose weight works better in combination with exercise. Aerobic exercise burns the most calories while strength training builds more muscles to burn calories! An effective exercise training plan paired with a healthy diet is a winning game plan to achieve your desired weight goal.