workout myths

Workout myth busters

Busting common workout myths

 Sometimes, you might hear or read the information relating to your health and fitness that may or may not be based on facts.  Common sense isn’t always that common! Here are some simple truths that cut through the jargon.

Do you need to feel the burn?

If you’re new to exercise, there will be some muscle soreness, but generally the saying ‘no pain, no gain’ isn’t true when related to training. 

A bit of discomfort after you push yourself is natural, but if you’re experiencing actual pain, stop and evaluate. It’s not necessary and might indicate an injury.

A build-up of what?

On the other hand, that bit of muscle soreness that you experience a day or two after a good workout is normal, but it’s not caused by lactic acid build-up. 

That was once a common belief, but what’s happening is that exercise causes minuscule tears in your muscles. Don’t be alarmed by that. As your body repairs those tiny tears, it builds new, strong and healthy tissue.

You don’t have to live at the gym.

If you think you need to spend many hours every day in the gym to lose weight or gain health benefits, that’s another myth we can bust for you. 

Yes, you do need to do it regularly (there’s no magic potion that will do it overnight) but even 20 minutes to half an hour daily in the gym can be enough. The trick is to get in some high-intensity interval training at that time. Many group classes are designed to keep this tempo going for you.

Sometimes, water is enough!

Speaking of weight loss, remember that sports drinks contain a lot of sugar. You’ll need it, or preferably a good supplement, after a very long, high intensity session or marathon, but not before or after a half hour or regular workout. Water is the essential replenishment you need for that. 

Diets versus exercise

If weight loss is your goal, exercise won’t produce overnight results. If you think you’ll lose lots of weight quickly, think again. 

With exercise, weight loss benefits scale up over time, and it ultimately promotes long-term fat loss while maintaining muscle. Crash diets without exercise might show quicker results, but remember the rebound and endless cycle of weight regain!  And, of course, exercise delivers lots of health benefits beyond weight loss.

Speak to your trainer or healthcare provider if you have any doubts about your health. 

Planet Fitness has clubs across South Africa. Use the Club Locator to find one near to you or click here to experience one week free trial.

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NO EXCUSES

Are you stronger than your excuses? 

Let’s try all live out  “The Rock’s” motto: “If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse.  

Travelling and can’t get to the gym? Or maybe you’re far away on vacation.

Here’s how to maintain your fitness until you get back to your gym routine.

If you’re travelling for business, squeezing in time for a workout may be the last thing on your mind, but you can stay fit in your hotel room. Don’t overthink it. 

If you do no exercise at all, it will be harder to regain your level when you get back to the gym. So something is better than nothing.

Just skip it!

No, we don’t mean avoid exercise. We literally mean: pack a skipping rope!

Obviously, when you’re travelling – especially if it’s for business – you’ll want to keep your luggage minimal.  Why not pack a lightweight gym skipping rope. If you don’t already have one, grab it at Planet Shop here

You can use this with some high intensity interval basics and it will push your calorie burning, especially since you’re probably indulging on the meals a bit while you’re on vacation or staying at a hotel.  

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Use your watch or phone as a timer.  Set it for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your fitness. Then do standard jumps using the proper form for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat ‘til your timer sounds.  

If you’re more familiar with skipping and want to mix it up a bit, switch to right leg, left leg and high jumps between the standard skips using the same interval pattern.

Even without a rope, you can still do some jacks, squats and lunges in the same timeframe using the same intervals.

If you’re going to be on vacation for a long time or if you travel within the country frequently, consider maintaining your gym sessions instead with national membership. Planet Fitness has clubs across the country.  Use the Club Finder here.

Sporty fit beautiful woman in sportswear posing in studio

How does physical fitness boost your brain?

How does physical fitness boost your brain?

Do you tend to think of hitting the gym as a body sculpting exercise? Sure, looking good is one factor in the mix when choosing to exercise, but the benefits for your mental health are just as fantastic. In the busyness of our daily work lives and careers, we often need to operate at peak mental performance for extended periods. Burn out is not unusual. The good news is that physical exercise builds our mental resilience, too.

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EXERCISING FOR MENTAL FITNESS

A sense of wellbeing encompasses how we think, feel, act and enjoy life.  When we’re depressed or anxious, doing physical exercise may feel overwhelming, if not impossible. The truth is, exercise is great preventative medicine for minimising psychological stress. So how does this work? 

It’s all connected

Exercising releases endorphins, which are the feel good hormones that our brains respond to. 

The energy paradox

Rather than draining us, regular physical activity increases our mental energy levels during the day and helps us to sleep better at night. 

The breath of life

Most people aren’t conscious of their breathing rhythms. When we’re stressed, our breaths may be too short. When we’re inactive or distracted, it may be too shallow. Physical exercise – especially routines like yoga – regulates and strengthens the breath resulting in calmer, stronger mental focus.

Breaking the cycle

Psychological tension causes us to tense our muscles. Tight or clenched muscles, in turn, elevate a sense of tension. Exercise breaks this cycle.

Memory and concentration

Exercise actually stimulates the flow of brain cells, helping you to feel and stay mentally sharp.In short, exercise increases your heart rate and pumps more oxygen to your brain.  You can enjoy all these benefits with as little as 30 minutes of exercise daily! As your physical fitness and endurance improves, so does your mental confidence. This flows into all areas of your life.  Planet Fitness offers affordable options for club membership in your area. There are lots of options for different classes, training equipment or running tracks to help you get the ball rolling. Click here to experience a week free on us!