There are so many myths out there about fitness, exercise, and losing weight. Who should we listen to? It’s hard enough getting motivated to get in shape, let’s not add the confusion of all the contradictory opinions out there about fitness. Let’s put some of the biggest women’s fitness myths to rest and learn the truth behind these folk tales!
1. Spot Reduction
2. Strength Training Will Make You Bulky
It takes men a long time to get bulky muscles, and they have high testosterone! Women don’t have the hormones to quickly build bulky muscle. Muscles grow very slowly so you won’t lift a 20 pound weight and look in the mirror a week later and see that you have huge arms. It just doesn’t work that way. Strength training will actually help you burn more calories and boost your metabolism. (Quick tip, when doing strength training, move at a slower pace, this will develop a long lean appearance.) Try these strength training exercises
3. Body Fat Turns into Muscle
Body fat and muscles are two different types of body tissues and have very different purposes. Fat is made up of adipose tissue; its purpose is to cushion the body and protect the organs. Muscle is made of protein; its purpose is movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body. When you exercise, you burn fat and the fat is turned into fuel. When you do strength training you build muscle mass.
4. You Have to Lift Weights for Strength Training
5. You Have to Stretch Before a Workout
It is very important to warm up before a workout to bring oxygen and blood flow to the muscles. People often think warming up means stretching but the two are actually unrelated. Studies show that holding stretches before a workout doesn’t do anything to warm up the muscles and may actually increase the risk for injury. This type of stretching is known as static stretching. Instead of holding stretches, try to roll out your muscles with a foam roller or do dynamic stretches (jumping jacks, high knees, arm swings). Warming up is basically doing a lower intensity workout to get your heart rate going and conditions your muscles for a workout such as walking before running. Try this warm up
6. Cardio for Weight Loss
7. Eat Less to Lose Weight
8. You Can’t Workout When You’re on Your Period
This is one of the biggest women’s fitness myths but the fact is that women’s bodies actually become stronger during that time of the month. You may be dealing with cramps, belly bloat, and fatigue but if you can just push yourself to exercise, you may find that you can lift heavier, run longer, and push harder. Plus exercise can ease menstrual cramps and aches. The benefits of working out during your period include faster recovery, pain tolerance, and higher energy levels. During menstruation your body experiences a slight hormone shift and your female hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, almost making you more like a guy. So take advantage of period time but also remember that we’re all different so listen to your body!
9. Fit and Healthy has a “Look”
A Fit and healthy woman can come in all shapes and sizes! Some women may carry more muscle, some may be on the leaner side, some may naturally be curvaceous, some may have a super flat tummy, and some may have a thigh gap. There is no one look for a strong, healthy, beautiful woman! I caution every woman, never get obsessed with a “look” and try to limit yourself to it. The look and shape of our bodies come down to so many different factors other than just nutrition and fitness. All a woman can do is exercise, eat well, and lead a healthy lifestyle, at the end of the day, whatever body you have, love it, cherish it, and appreciate it! The funny thing is, some thin girls wish they had curves like the very girls who wish they were thin! We all need to love ourselves and embrace our differences!
10. Lose Weight and Get Fit Fast!
This isn’t really a myth; it’s just a mindset that many women can get when they start working out. I experienced this myself; I started working out because I wanted to get fit and have the energy to keep up with all of life’s adventures, but it turned into a marathon to see how fast I could do it. A slow metabolism quickly put me in my place and ultimately I made health and fitness a lifestyle instead of a vain obsession. It takes a long time to put on weight so you can’t expect to lose weight overnight, also muscles need time to grow! Don’t get caught up in fitness fads that promise to help you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, it’s probably either a scam or very unhealthy for the body. Always remember that the body needs exercise, just like it needs water; it’s not just a thing to do to get a flat tummy. Enjoy the process and be proud of the fact that you’re doing something for your health and well-being! Weight loss and fitness will come, just love yourself and enjoy the journey!
Okay ladies, we have just crushed some of the biggest women’s fitness myths! I hope these tips will help you in your journey to health, fitness, and happiness! Have anything to add? Comment below.
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