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With so many fitness “experts” out there, it is very easy for one to get confused. Now in the days where anyone can call themselves a fitness expert, we have trouble knowing what is accurate and what isn’t. With this plethora of contradicting and sometimes even dangerous tips, what are we supposed to believe? I’ve done the research for you and looked at information from leading exercise physiologists, personal trainers and fitness sources. Here is a look at the top five most common misleading fitness tips out there:

  1. If women lift heavy, they will get bulky. FALSE FALSE FALSE!!! This couldn’t be further from the truth. Women simply do not have the testosterone that men have to get bulky. According to Concordia University Exercise Science professor, Phil Gephart, even if you are an endomorph and put on muscle easily, you still shouldn’t worry. Lifting heavier will get you leaner. Personally, I saw the most positive changes in my body after I started upping my weights. I am a huge advocate of women in the weight room!
  2. Cardio is better for your body than strength training. Not true at all. Both are necessary for your well-rounded healthy lifestyle. Each possess amazing benefits and when used in conjunction with each other, optimum health and strength. Women’s Health magazine has a great list of pros for both: Cardio can burn a lot of calories and strength training gives you a metabolic spike for one hour after your workout. In addition, cardio ups your body confidence, while strength training helps you look more toned and as a result, improves body image. How’s that for a one-two punch?
  3. Machines are better than free weights. False. The method of weight lifting that you should use in the gym depends on your goals, according to Livestrong. Both machines and free weights have benefits. Machines are great when rehabbing an injury, or when doing quick circuit training. Barbells and dumbbells have the versatility to work every major muscle group. Both methods improve your muscular system and help get you into great shape.
  4. One single exercise is all that you need. Completely untrue. Your body is an amazing machine that adapts to any one repetitive activity. For best results, healthyexpos.com recommends training your body progressively and “periodizationally,” meaning that you should keep your body stimulated by changing up your routines periodically. Varying your workouts guarantees results.
  5. You must workout everyday to achieve optimum results. Well, not necessarily. This is definitely a “one size does not fit all” issue. For those that strength train, a rest day is necessary in between lifting sessions to help with muscle recovery. It is recommended that healthy individuals fit exercise into their lives most days of the week. This can even be broken down in several 10-minute increments per day rather than a large, time-intensive sweat session. High Intensity Interval Training, in which one alternates between bursts of intense exercise, followed by an activity with lower intensity, is a fabulous way to increase stamina and to burn calories. Livestrong states that HIIT burns more calories in just 20 minutes than a whole hour of steady activity at a lower intensity. So the general consensus is that physical activity should be a part of your healthy lifestyle most days of the week. Not only is physical activity good for the body, but it is great for the mind!