When it comes to reaching your weight loss goals through exercise, it is important to have good information. Unfortunately there are plenty of exercise myths that can sabotage your best efforts. Here we reveal the truth behind four popular exercise misconceptions.
Simply going for a walk, or walking on a treadmill at a slow pace, is not going to yield significant weight loss. Many people assume they can achieve their weight loss goals by making simple changes to incorporate more walking into their lives such as parking in the far end of a parking lot to force themselves to walk. While walking is certainly very beneficial to your health, the number of calories burned in a short or slow walk is not sufficient to generate weight loss. If you are new to exercise, walking may be a good start to get your body moving, but you should attempt to challenge yourself and ramp up your workout on a weekly basis. For example, week one could consist of just walking for 30 minutes per day. Week two would consist of walk/jog intervals with the number of minutes you actually job increasing each week thereafter.
Don’t be afraid of lifting heavy weights. Many women seem to think that in order to achieve a lean body, they should avoid heavy weights and just lift one, two or three pound weights. Many avoid weights at all and simply rely on cardio workouts. But keep in mind that it is impossible to accidently look like a body builder. Women who body build follow very strict diets and workout regimens to achieve their desired look. Those of us who want a toned yet lean body can and should use heavy weights as part of a regular fitness regimen.
You do not need to eat a big meal or drink a protein shake after every workout. In fact, unless you are performing some sort of endurance exercise (such as running a marathon), you do not need to increase your normal calorie intake. Many people assume that if they worked out, they can feel free to indulge in junk food. In reality, it takes very little junk food to equal the amount of calories burned in a workout session. If you truly want to see weight loss, or even weight maintenance, it is important to balance a healthy diet with regular exercise.
You can’t expect real weight loss results if you only workout for a few minutes per day. The internet is full of weight loss videos and tutorials that claim you can get fit in minutes. However, it’s simply not possible to see real results from the amount of calories you will burn in a five minute workout. These workouts do have a place in any exercise enthusiast’s life as they are great resources for days when you truly have only five minutes to exercise. It’s better to squeeze a short workout in to a full day rather than fail to exercise at all. Just be aware that these extremely short workouts cannot make up the majority of your fitness regimen if you are attempting to lose weight, gain muscle or train for a race. Most experts will tell you that you should workout for at least 150 minutes per week if weight loss is your goal. For faster results, 300 minutes per week is recommended. If you exercise for five days per week, this means you’ll need to commit to 30 – 60 minutes of exercise per day. Keep in mind that it takes a deficit of about 3,500 calories to lose one pound.
Losing weight is simple: it’s just a matter of burning more calories than you consume. However, it can be tough to get started as we all want to get the best results for our efforts. Knowing this, it is important to be realistic and remember that promises of weight loss by simply walking or working out for five minutes a day are myths. You can achieve real results by continually challenging yourself to a higher fitness level.