10 Fitness Myths Debunked Pt.2
This is my second instalment of a two part series on debunking 10 fitness myths. You can read the truth about the first 5 myths in Part One. This post will explore myths 6-10 and uncover their falseness.
Myth 6: Drink sports drinks during and after workouts to stay hydrated
Staying hydrated before, during and after a workout is important, but if you are exercising for less than 60 minutes there is little evidence to suggest having a sports drink will provide additional benefits to having water. Your body won’t be working hard enough to run out of electrolytes or glucose (which is the benefit of sports drinks over water) and therefore you are only adding unnecessary calories to your diet.
A sports drink however is beneficial when engaged in intense workouts over 60 minutes, or in endurance events such as marathons and long distance cycling. So if you are just hitting the gym for a spin class or a weights workout, you’re better off saving your money and sticking to water to keep yourself hydrated.
For more on this topic, read my blog post What Is A Sports Drink And When Should You Have One?
Myth 7: Stretch before you workout to prevent injury
Stretching as a warm-up before exercise is common place, and has been for a long time. However research has found that there isn’t any correlation between stretching and injury prevention. As a warm-up increasing blood flow to the muscles through some light cardio and dynamic movements is actually more conducive to injury prevention.
Myth 8: I’m thin so I don’t need to exercise
Just because you are thin doesn’t mean you are healthy. Losing weight is not the only reasons to exercise. To me, the most important reason is to improve overall health and wellbeing.
People who are thin can still carry unhealthy fat internally which sits around vital organs. This fat is called visceral fat and can increase the risk of heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
The benefits of exercise go well beyond controlling weight. Some of the many benefits include:
- Helping build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints;
- Improving self-esteem;
- Reducing feelings of depression and anxiety;
- Reducing the risk of chronic diseases;
- Improving sleeping patterns; and
- Boosting the immune system.
Myth 9: The best time to exercise is first thing in the morning
Some people are just naturally morning people, like myself and prefer to exercise in the morning. Other people are slower to get moving in the morning and prefer to exercise later in the day. The good news is that there is no optimal time to exercise for everyone. The best time of the day to exercise is the time you can commit to. Pick a time that suits you and make it part of your daily/weekly schedule.
Myth 10: The calorie read on fitness machines are accurate
It can be a great feeling seeing the large amount of calories you have burned after using the treadmill, elliptical trainer or the stationary bike. Unfortunately though, the number displayed on screen is usually quite inflated. Even on machines where you specifically enter your gender, weight and age, the calorie burn displayed could be way off by tens to hundreds of calories!
So if you are interested in calories burned for each workout my advice would be just to use the calorie burn display as a guide to compare one workout session to the next.