Posts in the category : Myths
Health Horrors: Scary Fitness Myths Debunked
Like so many scary stories, most frightening rumors about fitness are urban legends. While perhaps based a little bit in truth, these rumors are peppered with enough falsehood to make them dangerous. We’ve chosen seven of the freakiest:
- Strength training will turn me into amonster. No, it won’t. In fact, strength training is a good way to lose weight for most people. It takes a lot of effort and time to bulk up–a lot of people try hard for a long time to gain muscle mass. It’s not going to happen to you accidentally. Feel free to lift weights as often as you want.
- Eating fat isdangerous. For years, diet-conscious people have been focusing on fat-free options to keep from turning into the Blob. Research shows instead that monounsaturated fats (found in avocados, nuts, and olives, among other things) are actually beneficial for weight loss. The amount of calories in a food is far more important than its fat content.
- Night-time snacks are extra bad for my health. Eating on Count Dracula’s schedule isn’t especially good for you, but it’s not that bad either. The amount of calories you consume has much more of an effect on your health than when you consume them. That said, many people who eat at night do so because they’re bored or depressed. Avoid unnecessary snacking and you’ll do fine.
- Pain is good. There are some of us who don’t consider it a workout unless it feels like we’re being tortured by devils afterwards. The “no pain, no gain” days of exercise theory are well behind us now–experts say a little discomfort during your workout is normal but that outright pain, especially pain that extends beyond the duration of the workout, is probably bad.
- Protein shakes are a magic potion. The witches’ brew of proteins, sometimes with unnecessary sugars, often have as many calories as a whole meal. Doctors recommend proteins from real foods because they contain plenty of other nutrients that protein shakes leave out. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will fill all your protein needs.
- I just worked out, so I can eat whatever I want all day. Exercise will not turn you into a mutant superhero. We discussed in our previous post that diet has more effect on weight loss than exercise; burning 300 calories at the gym (which is a moderate amount of cardio) won’t even earn you a whole donut worth of space in your diet.
- Stretching prepares me for my workout. Flexibility work is good on its own or after a workout, and it’ll make you feel less like a zombie the next morning. Using it as a preparation for your workout is less wise. Muscles that are too stretched out have less capacity to lift weights and do cardio, and stretching before a workout may not even prevent injury.
So there you have it. Your personal ghost-busters at SilverSneakers have dispelled the myths, so you can have a happy, healthy Halloween!