April 13, 2012
People are full of advice. Well-meaning friends, colleagues and especially our mothers!
Often, although meant with the best of intentions, the advice can be a little wide of the mark.
So what are the top five myths surrounding health and exercise?
Lifting weights makes women bulk up!
It takes months, if not years, of lifting increasingly heavy weights in order to achieve a body Arnold Schwarzenegger would have been proud of. Due to the larger amount of testosterone required to develop large bulky muscles it is physiologically impossible for most females to build this kind of muscle without the use of artificial hormones to help things along. Using weights or resistance training as part of your workout will help to shape and strengthen your muscles, as well making you look slimmer and increasing your resting metabolism.
Muscle weighs more than fat!
A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, one pound! However, muscle is more dense than fat, and therefore takes up less space, making you appear smaller.
Cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis!
How many times have we been told this! Whilst it may not be the most pleasant thing to do in company, it certainly won’t cause you to develop arthritis. The cracking sound we all know is actually a build-up of gases escaping from the synovial fluid within the joint. Nice.
You must drink 8 glasses of water per day!
According to The Guardian in July 2011, Dr Margaret McCartney, a GP from Glasgow, wrote in the British Medical Journal that most doctors already know that there is no scientific evidence that we need so much water. Our bodies are designed to let us know when we need to drink more water- by making us feel thirsty! There is no medical evidence that we need so much water, and it is dependent on how active we are and how much food we’ve eaten. The message is to listen to what our bodies are telling us.
Sit-ups will make your tummy flat!
Sadly, the truth is, the only way to get rid of tummy fat is to expend more calories than you take in. We don’t have much control over which areas the fat comes off first, and often our least favourite areas will be the last to lose weight! Such is life! Doing a sit up is not going to expend many calories. Running on the treadmill for 30 minutes, or 20 minutes on a cross trainer at high resistance, is going to be far more effective.