7 Fitness Myths That Are Wasting Your Time & Energy

Written by Brian Syuki

A few years ago, it was tough to find fitness advice other than in books or magazines. Today it's a totally different story, thanks to blogs, social media, and digital products — there’s more than enough advice out there. In fact, people are suffering from information overload and most of the fitness advice out there is based on myths.

Misinformation can derail your results or make it impossible for you to reach your goals. If you want fast results stick to what matters and ignore the lies and myths. Here are seven fitness tips you should ignore.

1. "_____ is the best time to exercise."

I know you’ve heard this before: “You’ll burn more calories if you work out in the morning." Or how about: “The afternoon/ evening is the best time to work out.” Don’t follow any of this advice because there aren’t enough studies to support these theories. In fact, researchers say the best time to exercise is the time you are most comfortable with and can stick to on a regular basis.

Good advice: Plan your workouts according to your schedule and work out at the time which is most convenient for you — whenever that may be.

2. "If it doesn’t hurt you are probably doing it wrong."

The no pain, no gain mantra is more popular than ever. Unfortunately, this advice leads people with injuries and abnormal pain to continue exercising instead of seeking medical care.

Good advice: It’s okay to push yourself, but you have to listen to your body. Learn to differentiate muscle soreness and injuries. Immediately stop training when you experience unusual sharp pain.

3. "Ab exercises get rid of belly fat."

Ab exercises are great for increasing core strength and building ab muscles, but they can’t get rid of belly fat. You may get six-pack abs if you do ab training, but they will be covered by fat.

Good advice: No exercise can burn fat on a specific spot. Reducing body fat percentage is the only way to get rid of belly fat. Eating healthy, practicing full body strength training, and cardio will help you get rid of belly fat fast.

4. "Lifting weights is better than bodyweight training."

Or HIIT is better than steady cardio. People have been led to believe that some forms of training are superior to others. That’s not true at all! Resistance is resistance — regardless of whether it comes from weights or your own body weight.

Good advice: All training methods are effective if you do them consistently. Unless you are athlete who needs to do specific exercises, use the method of training you prefer. People lose weight everyday using different methods of training. Find the method of training you enjoy and can stick to long term.

5. "Strength training makes women bulky."

This is 100 percent untrue! Getting bulky requires testosterone and a calorie surplus, women naturally have low testosterone levels.

Good advice: Women need strength training. It helps to increase muscle mass, boost metabolism and burn fat. Additionally, strength training helps develop stronger bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which reduce risk of injury.

6. "Exercising more is better."

There is truth to this but most people overtrain. Long workouts won’t do you any good. They’ll actually strain the body and raise cortisol levels. And cortisol is known to have inflammatory effect in the body.

Good advice: Train moderately. Limit your workouts to less than an hour per day and exercise at most five times a week.

7. "Don’t eat carbs."

Many diets out the will tell you to completely eliminate carbs from your diet. Even though some carbs are unhealthy it’s not advisable to remove all carbs from your diet.

Good advice: We need carbs for a healthy fat loss. Just avoid the bad carbs (junk food, added sugar, and so on).

Try to focus on the good advice outlined above and you'll reach your fitness goals. Try not to buy into crazy fad exercises or diets — aim for a healthy balance that you can sustain for the rest of your life.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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