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Dispelling Common Fitness Myths
Part 1 of 1
By: Jackie Wright

There is a great deal of mythology out there when it comes to fitness. And, while there are dozens of myths and misconceptions, there are five that we will target this week to help keep you on the path to a healthy and fit body. The number one best method of avoiding the pitfalls and myths is to apply that good old common sense. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, so don't spend your hard earned income on that service, product or piece of fitness equipment, or waste your invaluable time chasing the improbable outcomes. Fitness takes time, and often some financial investment, to achieve. So, be patient with yourself, follow the sound and proven principles highlighted below consistently, and before you know it, you may wake up feeling healthier, fit and hopefully, happier. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

  • Myth #1 Spot Reduction - it is, in general, physiologically impossible to spot reduce. You cannot perform any one exercise, use one product or perform one program (i.e. abdominal/core work of any kind) and lose fat specifically from your abdomen or any other body part. We burn fat/calories as it is genetically predetermined. And, generally, the first place we gain weight, is the last place we will lose it. We can spot train a muscle group, strengthening it (which is great). But, until the fat lying over the muscle is diminished/eliminated through consistently performed, well-designed calorie/fat burning exercise programs, and incorporating a healthy, calorie appropriate eating regimen, you may not readily "see" the muscle definition.
  • Myth #2 Conversion of fat to muscle - cannot be done. Fat and muscle are completely different components; one cannot be "converted" to the other. We may certainly lose fat, as described above, and we may build muscle mass through performing effective muscular strength training. This combination may create a healthy body composition (i.e. lean to fat ratio) which is a desirable and achievable goal for most of us.
  • Myth #3 Performing weight training with heavier forms of resistance builds huge muscle mass in women - this is generally not true. For the most part, women do not possess enough testosterone to build "huge" muscle mass. So, do not be afraid of safely working with heavier weights/resistance levels as your strength level increases. The key is to master the form and technique of the exercise, and make certain it is safe and effective for your specific limitations.
  • Myth #4 Storing fitness - well, unfortunately we cannot store fitness. The old adage is true, that if you don't use it, you will lose it. That is where consistency plays a huge role in securing long-term fitness levels, so stay consistent with your exercise program and you may consistently reap the benefits.
  • Myth #5 Exercising regularly keeps the body weight under control - well, it sure helps, but what and how much we eat significantly contribute to long term weight control. So, the combination of performing a consistent exercise program and consuming a healthy, portion-wise diet are the best bet for maintaining long term weight control.
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