So your New Year’s resolution is to live a healthier lifestyle that involves more physical activity. You’ve probably started working out, and that’s wonderful progress, but are you sure you’re doing it right, or are you just getting yourself in trouble? Here are seven myths about exercise to take note of, so you can continue getting fit the smart way.
1. Exercise is the best way to lose weight
Weight is determined by many factors, including genetics and levels of physical activity, but according to science, any weight loss program should start with a healthier diet. You can increase the intensity of your workout or lengthen your gym time, but if you don’t make conscious changes to eat healthier, your efforts will be futile. Instead of relying solely on exercise to help you shed those extra pounds, try cutting down on foods that are high in sugar or salt, like breakfast cereals and chips.
2. Working out will turn fat into muscle
This is biologically impossible, because fat and muscles are different tissues. What exercising actually does is build more muscles and burn the fat by converting it into energy. You or your fitness trainer should design a routine that takes this into consideration to ensure that you’ll achieve your specific health goals. For example, if you want to build muscles, choose high-intensity exercises that are designed to bulk you up. And if you want/need to lose weight, incorporate more cardio into your exercises.
3. The best way to get defined abs is to do sit-ups
While sit-ups work your abdominal muscles and hip flexors, the body will reach a plateau and stop developing if you only ever do one kind of exercise. You need to add variety to your routine and work the muscles around your abs if you want to have a toned middle. Pilates is a good way to sculpt your muscles, as it has over 500 exercises that will activate every muscle group in the body while paying particular focus to your core, where the abs are.
4. Waist training will give you an hourglass shape
Waist training is a fad, and you should never fall for health fads because they overpromise but underdeliver. A tight corset does make your waist smaller while you’re wearing it, but it’s dangerous to wear one during exercise. Not only does the corset weaken your abdominal and back muscles, but it can also cause breathing problems or damaged internal organs. Instead of putting yourself in danger by using equipment that has no scientific basis, go for low-impact, low-injury exercises that shave a few inches off your waist. Barre is one such exercise. Its routine targets your internal obliques, the muscles on either side of your ribcage, giving you a leaner and fitter waistline.
5. Getting out of shape takes at least two weeks
If you think you can slack off and still get fit, you’re dead wrong. It only takes one week for your body to regress to its unhealthy state, and if you start breaking your routine, all your hard work will be for naught. Fitness is a habit, and joining exercise classes will definitely help you commit to your routines.
C2 Body offers Pilates and barre classes in South Boston and Dedham. Book a class with us today, and get fit the right way.