Most people don’t realize just how common myths are in fitness. While fitness is filled with absolutes, there are a number of misconceptions that often turn into popular myths. Dispelling the myths of fitness is crucial for those who want to get the most out of their exercise regimen, as basing a workout on information that simply isn’t true can hold one back quite a bit when it comes to making noticeable progress. Fortunately, many of the most common myths in fitness have been scientifically debunked, including the following five; all of which can do more harm than good.
The “Fat-Burning Zone”
One of the most common myths in fitness is that which relates to what many refer to as the “fat-burning zone.” This is in reference to aerobic training, and states that one should stay between 65% and 75% of their maximum heart rate in order to lose fat most effectively. The fact is, however, you’ll still be burning fat if you train at a higher heart rate level; perhaps even more effectively than if you were to stay within this misunderstood “zone.”
Fat Makes You Fat
In today’s world, the word “fat” conjures up a great deal of discomfort for a wide variety of people. This is likely due to a myth that states that eating fat will directly contribute to making you fat, which is far from true. Rather, fat is an essential macro-nutrient that should not be avoided, and is typically part of a healthy individual’s balanced diet when combined with exercise and proper nutrition.
Running On a Treadmill vs. Running on Pavement
For those who like to run regularly, knee problems are sometimes a matter of course. In order to avoid injuring the knees, many people switch from running on pavement to training on a treadmill, thinking that it is a lower impact exercise. That said, treadmills still provide a higher impact than what is ideal, making it important to vary your cardiovascular training as much as possible; biking, for example, is a great low-impact alternative to running.
Targeting Areas of the Body
Many people set out to implement a fitness plan into their lives because they’ve gained a bit of weight in the midsection. One of the most common misconceptions amongst beginner trainers is that you can “target” areas of the body (such as the midsection) in order to reduce fat most effectively. While this may seem logical, targeting is really no more than a myth, and is far less effective than a well-rounded workout.
Sweating Indicates a Productive Workout
It’s not uncommon to come across those who think that they aren’t working hard enough simply because they’re not sweating. Indeed, some people base the effectiveness of their workout on whether or not they’re working up a sweat, a sentiment that is truly no more than a myth. Sweating is really just an indication that the body is over-heated, and has little to do with whether or not a workout is effective; actually, many people sweat very little while working out, yet still see results.