Truth: Sorry honey, that just ain’t enough. Shawn Arent, an exercise scientist at Rutgers University, told Business Insider, “A minimum of three days per week for a structured exercise program” is essential for sustained health benefits. “Technically, you should do something every day, and by something I mean physical activity – just move.”
Truth: Morning is a great time to workout, but so is in the middle of the day and the afternoon. Basically, whenever you prefer to workout is the best time to workout. The important thing is that you exercise, period.
3. Myth: Crunches Are The Best Exercise To Tone Your Abs
Truth: Crunches are the “meh” exercise of the abs world. Sure, doing some crunches can help boost your core strength, but this exercise certainly isn’t the most efficient way to strengthen your abs. Planks and upright ab exercises will actually whip your core into shape far faster than standard old crunches.
Truth: Ladies, stop avoiding those free weights. Adding strength training to your workout routine won’t make you bulk up – it will actually do the opposite. Increasing muscle mass will help you trim down, since lean muscle requires more energy, thus more calories are burned.
Adam Rosante, author of The 30-Second Body, explains, “The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.”
So you want to burn more calories while doing absolutely nothing? Pick up those weights.
Truth: Sadly, doing 100 crunches won’t help you lose more weight in your midsection. If you want to lose fat from a certain part of your body (we’re talking about you, love handles), you have to lose overall body fat. So if a trainer ever tells you that spot-training is a thing, take your money and run.
7. Myth: You Need At Least 30 Minutes Of Cardio To Get Benefits
Truth: Here’s some great news for all of you cardio haters out there – you don’t have to log hours and hours of cardio every week just to be healthy. Interval training has been proven just as effective, AND you can get it over with much quicker. Alternating intense bursts of activity with active recovery can help tone your most important muscle – your heart. And it also increases your body’s after burn, which is why intervals are great if you are looking to burn fat.
Truth: Phew! Thank goodness this is a myth, am I right? You shouldn’t workout every day because your body needs time to recover in order to perform optimally. Working out every day increases your risk of injury, and it could also prevent you from seeing real results.
Truth: Hopefully you don’t believe this, because no amount of time in the gym will help you cancel out a bad diet. You may have heard the saying, “Abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen,” and the experts agree that it’s true.
NYC-based personal trainer and fitness author, Maik Wiedenbach, confirms, “About 80% of what you look like is based on diet.” Further proof that you are what you eat.
10. Myth: You Should Always Stretch Before A Workout
Truth: We all thought this was true at some point, but the reality is that static stretching before a workout can actually increase the risk of injury. So save your stretch sesh for after the workout, and ease into your workout with active stretches and an easy warm up.
11. Myth: Thinking Is The Only Way To 'Workout' Your Brain
Truth: Sure, puzzles and games are great for your brain, but studies show that physical exercise is still the best way to boost your brainpower. Have a big test or important presentation coming up? Squeeze in some aerobic activity beforehand.
12. Myth: It Takes A Few Weeks To Get Out Of Shape
Truth: Boo, this is a myth. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to get out of shape than get in shape.
“If you stop training, you actually do get noticeable de-conditioning, or the beginnings of de-conditioning, with as little as seven days of complete rest,” Arent said. “It very much is an issue of use it or lose it.”
13. Myth: Sports Drinks Are The Best Way To Rehydrate After A Workout
Truth: Plain old water does just fine in the hydration department. Plus, most sports drinks are loaded with sugar, which can actually negate all of the hard work you put in at the gym. So instead of sugary sports drinks, opt for water and a high-protein snack post-workout.
14. Myth: The 'Fat-Burning Zone' Is The Ideal Zone For Weight Loss
Truth: This zone is low intensity, so your heart rate remains relatively comfortable. But as any good trainer will tell you, to see extreme change you need to get a bit uncomfortable. If you really want to torch some calories, you will need to up the intensity with a more vigorous workout, such as a HIIT workout.
15. Myth: Drastically Cutting Calories Is The Best Way To Lose Weight Fast
Truth: If you starve yourself, your body will adapt.
"Our bodies are smarter than we think," Jari Love, star of the Get Extremely Ripped: 1000 Hardcore DVD, explains. "When we eat too little, our body believes that it's starving so our metabolism slows down and holds onto fat as a potential energy source."
So instead of drastically cutting calories, focus on eating nutrient dense foods that will keep you satiated longer and will help your body recover from your workout.