Finding information on fitness can be quite the task because new information is coming out every single day. There are always new studies, new experiments or new diets that will make all other fitness information irrelevant. With such contradictory information consistently being released, it is difficult to know what is real and what isn’t. Luckily, we have compiled five fitness “facts” that science and studies have easily shown to be wrong.
1. Certain exercises can burn fat in certain spots
There are some websites out there that lead people to believe that there are certain exercises that can target certain areas and burn fat there only. For example, doing tons of crunches or sit-ups can “spot burn” fat at the stomach area and give you a flat stomach or six pack abs. The reality is there is no way to just burn fat at a certain body part. The keys to having a toned or ripped body are by having a low body fat percentage. Fat is burned evenly throughout the body with exercise. A balanced routine that incorporates both cardio and strength training is what will truly help you burn away the calories and lose the fat.
2. You have to stretch before you exercise
We first must clarify that stretching is absolutely vital to a successful workout routine, but stretching before you do any other activities can do more harm than good. This is because before working out, your muscles are not warmed up and therefore less limber. Stretching these cold muscles can actually decrease your range of motion and lead to injury. If you feel that you absolutely must stretch before your routine, do so after a warm up. A short jog, some jumping jacks or fast feet will be adequate to warm up your muscles so you do not injure yourself.
3. Lifting weights will make women bulky and manly
Many women fear picking up weights and lifting because there’s a notion that they will bulk up and get big. No matter how many weights or how intense women lift, it is much much more difficult for them to become “bulky” because the primary hormone which creates those large muscles is testosterone, which women produce very little of. Gaining muscle can help women significantly slim down because muscle is much more efficient at burning fat.
4. More sweat means you’re working out harder
Dripping buckets of sweat is commonly associated with working out hard, which is mostly true but not absolutely essential. Sweating does not necessarily mean that you are working out hard, it just means that your body is hot. You sweat in order to keep your body cool. It is completely possible to burn a ton of calories with minimal sweating.
5. Take a hot shower after you workout
As we’ve detailed before, showering after working out is great for your skin. What we didn’t go over is the water temperature. Icing down after you workout is a great way to keep from becoming too sore and an ice bath is great for your body’s recovery. Kobe Bryant swears by it and he is one of the most elite athletes of our time. The reasoning behind this is that when you workout your blood vessels widen in order to carry oxygen to the parts you’re working out. These widened veins are susceptible to waste products like lactic acid. A cold shower will constrict these veins and prevent soreness.
There are so many more fitness “facts” out there that are untrue. It is important to do your research before believing anything you read or hear that is fitness related.