Friday, February 1, 2013
The Top Fitness Myths Debunked!
Guest Post by Damien Woodson of Core Motivation Fitness:
With so many fitness myths clouding our minds, Damien Woodson of Core Motivation Fitness takes the top 5 myths, debunks them and reworks the rumors to introduce fitness truths into 2013:
MYTH 1: Muscle turns into fat and fat turns into muscle:
Muscle and fat have two different functions in the body. Muscle can be compared to the engine. It takes in gasoline, energy in the form of carbs, fat and protein, and uses it to “run” or operate. In this case, to contract the muscle. Muscle are the engine and fat is the fuel. One doesn’t turn into the other even though it looks and feels like it. More fat may appear to be present as the muscle gets smaller from inactivity or fat will increase in that area for the same reason, but no conversion is taking place.
MYTH 2: Low Carb Confusion (Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs):
Most individuals believe that all carbs are bad. They don’t understand that carbs are absolutely essential for muscle contraction and clear thinking. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel used by the body to function. Without carbs, your workouts, recovery and results would be frustratingly subpar.
Learn to differentiate between “good carbs” and “bad carbs”: Vegetables, fruit and high fiber grains would be considered good carbs while rice, pasta, low fiber breads/bagels, soda/pop/alcoholic beverages, candy, and confectionary goods etc. would be considered bad. Both are very helpful for an effective training program, but need to be used at different times and amounts. For example, the “bad carbs” absorb really quickly and can be a better form of short and therefore long term recovery than the slower absorbing “good carbs”. I introduce a healthy eating plan to my clients; one that consists of primarily good carbs and a fraction of “bad carbs” used at the right times and amounts.
MYTH 3: Women are afraid that they will gain large, masculine-like muscles from strength training/believe that cardio programs are the best way to burn fat:
Strength training serves many roles. Muscles begin to shrink .5 – 1% every year after the age 25 - - declining growth hormone production begins to surface. Muscle dictates your metabolism. The more you have, the more calories you’ll burn, even when you aren’t working out. The primary goal of strength training for most is to maintain or regain muscle that has been lost. Any body builder will tell you that packing on muscle is a lot like a part time job. It takes a specific eating plan, scheduled rest and workouts that support the biggest gains possible. Unless you are part of a small population of body types known as a mesomorph, the type that grows muscle very easily and appears to be thick and robust without even working out, then gaining large, masculine-like muscles from strength shouldn’t concern you.
MYTH 4: Confusing moderate activity with exercise (gardening, walking, taking the stairs, etc.)
An active lifestyle and exercise are necessary to maintain one’s health, but one does not replace the other. An active lifestyle keeps you moving on a regular basis and burns more calories than a sedentary lifestyle i.e. sitting for prolonged hours and burning less calories than you consume leads to weight gain. Exercise helps strengthen and or maintain the body’s muscle (dictates metabolism), flexibility (a strong muscle is a flexible muscle) and cardiovascular system (the heart is a muscle that needs to be worked). Without regular exercise, something that challenges each of these, they will decline in function as the effects of aging don’t need a workout to keep declining. Regular exercise should challenge the body in a way that maintains or enhances each of these as long as possible. An active lifestyle helps the body burn more calories and the muscles and joints from becoming stiff and prone to injury from lack of use; however, this does not replace the body’s need for regular exercise.