Whether you’re a pro bodybuilder or a complete gym novice, we’ve all heard the various myths that surround exercise. Any health studio will tell you that exercise allows you to strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy weight, and this is all true! Additionally, regular exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers, including endometrial, breast, and colon cancers. These are all proven facts, meaning that exercise is an all-round positive thing. Despite this, multiple myths circulate in the gym world, which limit the exercises that people do. 

Read on to discover some of the most common exercise myths. 

You should stretch BEFORE exercising.

First up, the importance of warming up and stretching is drilled into us from our first gym class in elementary school. While it’s true that each of these things are important, you shouldn’t necessarily be stretching BEFORE exercising. Equally important as the warm-up is the cool down, which is when you should be stretching. This is because, after you exercise, your joints are warm, meaning stretching allows you to improve flexibility performance. Before a workout, stretching offers little benefit, and you should really be using this time to increase your heart rate instead. 

You need to spend hours in the gym.

When it comes to getting fit, a gym is by no means a necessity. You can exercise anywhere and everywhere, and you need to focus on the quality of exercise over the quantity of exercise. One of the most effective ways of ensuring you get the most out of your workout is by strength training before you do your aerobic exercises. This is because your body activates its carbohydrate supply as a first port of call, which is the best fuel for aerobic exercise. Once this carbohydrate storage has depleted, your body will then turn to using fat for fuel, which is the best for aerobic exercise. 

Muscle turns to fat when you stop strength training

Muscle and fat are two completely different types of tissue, meaning muscle can’t turn into fat and fat can’t turn into muscle. Instead, stopping strength training means that muscle mass is lost, and your metabolism slows down, which results in your body burning fewer calories in its rest state, leading to weight gain. It’s for this reason that it’s so commonly mistaken that muscle turns to fat in the absence of activity. Despite this, it’s important to remember that your muscle will never turn into fat (and your fat will never turn into muscle). 

Exercise can erase a bad diet.

Your diet is just as, if not more, important to weight management and looking after your health. Therefore, you can’t just work out for a little longer to justify eating unhealthy foods. Of course, everything is fine in moderation, but if you want to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself, you need to ensure that you’re eating a balanced diet. 

Crunches are the best core exercises. 

As far as core exercises are concerned, crunches are among the most popular; however, they’re actually one of the least effective. In fact, crunches don’t get rid of belly fat, and resistance training and cardio workouts are required to do this. This is because these types of exercise allow you to target the entire core, resulting in strengthening and toning. 

Lifting heavy weights bulks up women. 

Many women are deterred from lifting heavy weights, as they fear that it will make them look like a bodybuilder. Despite this, the biggest effect that weightlifting has on the body is that it shapes and tones. Since women have limited levels of testosterone, it’s very difficult for them to build huge muscles. Therefore, if you’re a woman who’s more than capable of pushing over 200 pounds on a leg press, there’s nothing that should stop you from doing so. It’s very unlikely that you’ll push your legs to the point that they’re big and veiny, and you won’t be able to progress unless you push your boundaries. 

You can target your fat burn. 

While working out will inevitably reduce your overall fat, there’s no way of controlling which part of your body burns the most. In order to create fuel during exercise, your body breaks down fat, and it won’t necessarily choose the part of your body that you’re working the hardest. This isn’t like building muscle, wherein you will gain muscle mass in the area that you’re working – burning fat all depends on the area that your body chooses. 

Conclusion 

So, when it comes to exercising effectively, it’s all about debunking the myths you may have heard and performing to the best of your ability. Regardless of how you choose to work out, though, there’s a lot to be gained from regular exercise, meaning it should be incorporated into everyone’s lives.