Fitness Myths Busted

by the experts at myvitamins.com

Recent research shows that whilst exercise of any kind is good for boosting the immune system, maintaining a healthy heart and even producing positive psychological effects, it could also be counterproductive and cause you to put on more weight than you actually burn off.  Part of the problem is what scientists refer to as ‘compensation’ and it works on the principle that whilst low-moderate exercise can burn calories, it can also stimulate hunger meaning in the long term you eat more and therefore store more fat. We talk to the experts at my vitamins.com to bust some fitness myths so that you put your energy in where it counts…

Small exercises tone better
One of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym is doing small, isolated exercises like bicep curls or tricep extensions thinking that this will tone certain parts of the body. Studies show the best way to tone the body is to do large compound exercises like squats, lunges, press ups and deadlifts since these require more muscle fibres to perform and as a general rule of thumb the more muscle fibres you recruit the more calories you burn.

You can lose fat from certain parts of the body
Another common gym myth is that you can lose fat from certain parts of the body like your stomach or hips. This isn’t true and unfortunately you can’t exactly pick where you lose fat from. The good news is that if you persevere and are determined, you will eventually lose fat from your ‘problem areas.’

Low intensity cardio is best for losing fat
Research conducted at the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the University of California in America found that low intensity cardiovascular exercise increased fat mobilisation, but not fat burning and that high intensity training such as strength training or sprinting was found to burn far more fat.

Low calorie diets are best for losing weight
Whilst it is true you need to create a ‘calorie deficit’ and use more calories than you eat, if you restrict your calories too much your body responds by going into survival mode, slowing the metabolism down and conserving fat. Therefore it’s important to gradually reduce you calorie intake over a period of time.

Lots of repetitions burn more fat
Quite often when in the gym people will perform an exercise for 20 repetitions thinking the extra reps will help to burn fat, but research shows lower reps with a heavier weight (between 8-12) could be far better at burning fat since this puts more of a demand on the body and sends a signal to your endocrine system to increase the metabolism for up to 48 hours afterward.