Where do health myths come from? Well there’s this place, let’s call it Misinform-landia, where people share what they consider to be facts, through articles and other media, without first checking if their information is grounded in solid evidence and science. Then other people spread that information, tell all their friends about it so that pretty soon everybody’s rubbing a stick of butter on their left foot right before lifting weights.
When I go to the gym I like to enlist the help of a physical trainer. This is because I don’t trust myself to do a workout without somehow causing some kind of long-term muscle damage. It’s also because I know that their years of experience qualify them to help me build the best routine for my size and weight.
For the rest of us who don’t have the time or access to a personal trainer, or are in search of a flexible gym membership, an abundance of data is published almost every second on nutrition and fitness. Reliable sources like Men’s Health Magazine are a great place to find workouts and health tips. That article your mum shared on why eggs are the new superfood is probably less reliable. Still, some of the most popular ‘facts’ circulating the health-sphere have come from the wild imaginations of online bloggers (who heard it said somewhere once).
This blogger is going to set a few of those straight today. Here are some health myths you just shouldn’t buy.
Myth: fats and carbs are diet no no’s
Diets are about decreasing your calorie intake. Fatty foods are high in calories so it makes sense to cut them from your diet. But recently, fatty foods and carbohydrates have been proven to benefit our bodies in all kinds of ways. While carbohydrates provide us with the fuel to power our workouts, fats can actually speed up the metabolism. What we want to avoid is processed foods with little nutritional value. Eat unrefined carbs and fats like avocado and oily fish, or nut butters. Fats should not be cut from a diet, they should be consumed in moderation.
Myth: lifting weights will make you bigger than Arnold
Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t become the 1970 Mr. Olympia (World #1 bodybuilder) by lifting weights 3 or 4 days a week. It’s a common misconception that weightlifting will give you unwanted bulk. Building bulk requires a specific set of conditions to be in place at once; hours upon hours of daily weigh training, hormonal enhancers, plenty of sleep and a number of other recuperation strategies. For the rest of us, weight training makes us slimmer, increases our structural balance and helps improve posture.
Myth: cardio alone is the best calories cutter
Somewhere in the back of our minds we know that our body’s various bits and pieces work as a whole rather than as wholly separate entities, and yet we expect one exercise programme to be far more effective than another in conditioning our body. We read about the benefits of a slow and steady cardio programme to help us slim down and tone up, and while cardio exercise like running on a treadmill is good for recovery after high intensity training, steady state cardio can be hard on our joints and time-consuming. Cardio is far more effective when combined with high-intensity interval training and weightlifting at giving your body a complete workout.
Myth: gym membership is a costly long term commitment
A lot of us resist the gym and the regularly weekly exercise we need to keep fit and healthy. Long working hours and yearlong membership contracts keep us perched on our sofas. But new companies offer the perfect alternative; flexible day passes and month by month memberships to venues in cities and towns across the nation. No cancellation costs, and unlimited access to different exercise programmes mean you can combine your cardio with any number of high performance workouts.