Social media and the Internet bombard us with a vast amount of information about fat-loss secrets, fitness videos and diet fads. It is difficult to separate myth from the truth with this information overload. Here are a few myths that we have recently seen:
1. You need to do detox diets
Detox diets and juice cleanses have been very popular in the past few years. However, how necessary is it to “detox” your body? Your liver and kidneys cleanse your body from toxins and under normal circumstances do this job well. Therefore, if you eat a healthy diet filled with fruit, vegetables and is low in alcohol and sugar you should not need to detoxify.
2. If you’re not sweating you’re not working hard enough
Sweating is an indicator of physical exertion but it is mainly your body’s cooling system. A long walk, lightweight training and even housework can burn a significant amount of calories without breaking in to perfuse sweating. You do not need to redline every workout to burn calories and feel satisfied with your efforts. It does, however, feel good and do you good to break into a sweat a few times a week!
3. Machines are a safer way to exercise
Machines can be a good way to improve your form, however only if it is calibrated to your height and weight. Training with only machines can also reduce the impact of certain movements, as you do not need to activate all muscle groups that would have been activated if you do freestanding workouts. Freestanding exercises require you to activate muscle groups in order to maintain good form. Keeping your workouts versatile will be more impactful than to stick to one machine or one movement.
4. Running on a treadmill will put less strain on your knees
Running is a good way to exercise, however, too much of a good thing can be bad. Running has a high impact on your joints and is notoriously hard on the knees, whether you run on a treadmill or the road. In general, softer surfaces such as trails will have a lower impact. Mix up your running with other cardiovascular exercises to reduce the strain on your joints. Jump on the bike, rowing machine and ski erg to give your joints a break from running.
5. Instagram bodies are the goal
Your fitness journey is very personal and no Instagram, magazine or catwalk body should make it to your inspirational board. Most pictures online are photographed in favourable lighting with a favourable pose and are edited to smooth out lumps and bumps. Compare yourself to yourself. Record your own fitness journey by looking at how exercise and healthy eating makes you feel and look. Remember to be kind to yourself during the process, as no fitness journey is a straight line from A to B.
Our bodies react to exercises differently and what works for one person may not work for you. This is where many fitness myths are started. Bust fitness myths by reading medical journals, speaking to industry experts and testing what works for you. Do exercises that work for you and what you enjoy. As long as you are consistently active and eat a balanced diet then you will see results.