Busted! Exercise myths debunked

By admin
06 August 2014

Here’s some fitness advice best taken with a pinch of salt.

With so much fitness information out there, it’s often difficult to know what to do to get that toned physique you might crave. The market is saturated with pills and drinks claiming to help you lose weight and aid work outs, but what advice out there is correct and what is simply a marketing scam?

Protein, protein, protein.

Many fitness professionals tout protein as the secret to a lean, toned body. Protein is used for muscle repair and growth, so an increase in intake along with training of the muscles means an increase in muscle mass.

Yoga teacher and wellbeing expert Chris James tells us that we shouldn’t always see this area of our diet as the miracle solution. He believes that there is a ‘protein myth’; we should focus on building our white muscle mass which will remain over a long period of time, rather than the red muscle (what is built from pumping weights at the gym) which will be converted to fat as soon as we stop working out regularly. Building white muscle is done through maintaining tension, so yoga and Pilates are the best exercises for this.

“Sure you do need some protein to rebuild muscle, but not in the volume that we’re being lead to believe. And certainly not from the sources that we’re lead to believe either,” says Chris.

Cardio is the secret to weight loss

It’s true that cardio work will burn calories and, in turn, weight. But we can’t assume that running on the treadmill for half an hour means we can indulge in that takeaway and we’ll still be shedding pounds. The calories in one average slice of pizza would take a 150lb person around 45 minutes of jogging to burn off. And, let’s be honest, who’s going to eat just one slice?

The true secret to weight loss is eating a healthy diet. This is a diet low in fat and sugar, but in which each food group is adequately represented. Make sure to allow yourself a treat every now and again, but keep processed food to a minimum. Lots of celebrities advocate the 80:20 rule - eat a healthy diet 80 per cent of the time, and treat yourself for the other 20.

Ab workouts will give you a toned stomach

Yes, exercising your stomach muscles will increase their mass and tone, but unless you cut down on the layer of fat covering them, that potential six pack will be hidden forever. Combining weight loss and stomach exercises will be the best way to achieve a toned tummy, but there’s no instant fix. Remember that will take time and commitment.

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