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.