4 Exercise Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

a man working out

A man exercising | Source: iStock

Ever wonder why you just can’t seem to achieve the healthiest version of yourself, no matter what you do? Whether you hit the gym religiously or are constantly on the go, many adults struggle with obtaining their dream body regardless of how much effort they might put in. In his new book, Fat-Burning Machine, health expert Mike Berland, as seen on Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, FOX & Friends, and more, addresses issues many people have in regards to weight loss, and combats commonly perceived assumptions that, as Berland proves, are inaccurate. In answering the key question of “why do certain foods help the body lose weight while others cause the body to store fat?”, Berland also sheds light on issues when it comes to working out. Here are 4 exercise myths that have been debunked and reset by Berland, as told in his book, Fat-Burning Machine.

1. Myth: A good workout is a sweat storm

Contrary to popular belief, just because you see someone sweating profusely on the treadmill at the gym doesn’t necessarily mean he’s getting a great workout.

The Reset: Longer duration and less intense exercise utilizes a greater percentage of fat for fuel within a certain intensity range.

As Berland points out in his book, “Exercise and being fit are all about personal choices.” As he discovered from his own personal journey, Berland realized that traditional, slow workouts weren’t working for him. The best way to be successful is to find something you enjoy, or at least don’t hate, and fit it into your lifestyle. If you like to swim, start by signing up for a short race that incorporates swimming into a fun event. “I learned that short, high-intensity exercise not only utilizes fat for fuel, it also influences insulin reaction and helps build the networks of capillaries that will later assist in making your body a Fat-Burning Machine,” Berland said. “Longer duration and less intense exercise utilizes a greater percentage of fat fuel within a certain intensity range. The point is that both have a role. Just sweating isn’t the answer.”

2. Myth: You shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach

a protein shake

A man drinking a protein shake | Source: iStock

Remember the old adage you’d hear as a kid at the town swimming pool: “don’t swim for 30 minutes after you eat”? Well, if you’ve taken up the counter position when it comes to working out as an adult, you could be mistaken.

The Reset: Eating before and during a workout can sometimes complicate the process of fat burning.

Instead of having a big meal before hitting the gym, the hiking trail, or the lap pool, try to fit your workout in before eating. If that means waking up earlier and having a small breakfast, or power bar so you can give yourself enough time to digest, then do it. Or, if it means fitting in a run during your lunch break, be sure to do so before you hit the break room.

3. Myth: Weight lifting will make you bulky and heavy

Just because you lift weights, doesn’t mean you’re at risk of looking like one of those muscle-building meatheads who can barely rest his arms comfortably by his side.

The Reset: I will be stronger, more toned if I start lifting weights. Strength training builds muscle and improves quality of life, and muscle is more metabolically active than fat.

Even if you’re intimidated by the weight room at the gym, start out small with hand weights, and go from there. If you’re not trying to bulk up, no problem. Working a weight lifting routine into your fitness program will help you build strength, firm up, and boost confidence. “Strength training improves muscular strength, balance, and coordination,” Berland says. “Strength training is important to bone density, so that I don’t become feeble and brittle.”

4. Myth: Energy drinks and energy bars can aid a successful workout

energy drinks

Energy drinks | Source: iStock

While they come in handy at certain times, make sure you’re not relying on energy supplements that are really filled with sugar and high in calories. Like everything else, there are good and bad products when it comes to the fitness industry, so don’t be fooled.

The Reset: Sports drinks and energy bars aren’t necessarily for the pros, let alone normal people who work out on the average of 30 to 60 minutes at the gym. Skip them.

Of course, there are some products out there that will actually prove beneficial, depending on your fitness goals, cardio levels, and overall abilities. But be careful, as some of these products largely depend on marketing to people looking for quick, simple fixes and aids in losing weight.

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