Over these 15 years of personal training I have experienced several workout myths that people truly believe. Myths that sound very true however are the furthest from the truth. The following 4 myths are the ones I hear the most.
Myth #1: Working out for less than an hour doesn’t do you any good.
All physical activity is good for your body, even if it is 10 minutes. The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of the two. Research has shown that 30 minutes of physical activity, even if broken up into 3 ten minute segments throughout the day, has tremendous health benefits such as reducing blood pressure, decreased risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, stronger immunity, and decreased stress.
Myth #2: Spot reduction is possible.
Reducing body fat in one particular area of your body by doing certain exercises CANNOT burn body fat in that area. For example, I have clients that still insist on doing hundreds of crunches to burn abdominal fat. Granted, these crunches may be strengthening the abdominal muscles, however the fat around the midsection is not being burned from the crunches. In order to burn body fat, one must perform cardiovascular exercises and do strength training to increase muscle mass. Individuals’ bodies are different and body fat will be burned according to each person’s genetic make-up. Some of you may hold on to fat at the hips, while others tend to carry fat in the midsection. The key is to be consistent with aerobic conditioning and strength training in order to decrease reduction of one’s total body fat percentage.
Myth #3: I need to be sweating to have a good workout.
Everyone sweats differently. This is part of your body’s thermostat and it’s way of cooling you off. So sweating is not a good way to determine if you are getting in a good workout. Keeping track of your target heart rate and also administering the “talk test” are good ways to make sure your workout is strenuous enough for you. Find out what the “talk test” is and determine your target heart rate zone by visiting the Aerobic Conditioning Page.
Myth #4: Aerobic exercise is the only exercise you need in order to loose weight and be healthy.
Aerobic exercise helps to keep your heart strong and burn calories, however, strength training helps to keep your entire body strong. Having muscle mass is important for all daily activities and for keeping your metabolism high. Strength training has several other benefits including reducing blood pressure, preventing osteoporosis, and decreasing cholesterol levels. Everyone should participate in a weekly strength training program in addition to daily aerobic exercise.