Top 6 fitness myths to bust in 2018
Don't fall victim to wrong advice. Hear it out from the fitness experts in Dubai
By Anita Iyer
Published: Fri 5 Jan 2018, 2:15 PM
Last updated: Mon 8 Jan 2018, 1:54 PM
With the New Year, the internet is full of articles encouraging you to take the leap to good health in 2018.
Be it is adding exercise to your daily life, eating healthier or just leaving your work desk more often for short walks, your resolutions could start with the smallest change.
While you embark on your fitness goals, it is possible you will be bombarded with fitness advice from every soul around. Your colleagues, family, and friends all mean well but the contradictory advice you receive can leave you confused.
The few common myths we have heard are - Avoid carbs, you can't build muscles by eating veggies, your metabolism slows down after you are 30! We are sure your list is endless too.
So, while you kick-start your health goals for 2018 we thought a small guide can come handy. Khaleej Times spoke to two fitness expert in Dubai to bust the most common training/fitness myth they have heard:
Shaikha Naseer, Fitness coach
1. Myth - Lifting weights makes women bulkyTruth - Females don't have the same level of testosterone as men do. In fact, lifting weights will make females look athletic, lean, fit and strong even for our daily routine.
What gives athletic women the bulky look is more than average muscle mass combined with excess body fat. But with a smart diet and planned weight training, you can achieve a fitter form.
2. Myth: You can lose your belly fats with crunches / cardiovascular training. Reality: You won't get a flat belly you desire even if you do 10,000 crunches. Lifting weight (squat / deadlift / power press.. etc), Tabata training plus proper healthy eating will help you get flat, toned abs.
Think of it, muscles are covered with fats. So, all these fats must be burned for these muscles to be seen and getting the flat belly you want. Doing weight training will challenge and make you use and work your whole core to be able to do the exercises properly. Plus having strong core is absolutely essential.
3. Myth: Deadlift is not good for your back.Reality: Recently, I have heard so many members stating that deadlifts have injured their lower back. Deadlifts are the ultimate lower-back exercise, and, if done under supervision with a trainer can decrease back pain and the risk of injury and improve functional strength.
Nayaz Pasha, National Fitness Manager, Gold's Gym
4. Myth: Spot reduction and toningReality: Most people believe in doing exercises for one area of the body or a muscle group to get fat reduced in a particular part. This is completely a false belief. Our body deposits fat in adipose tissue according to our genes and it will not let us choose from where it should extract fat from. It will use it from various parts of the body to convert into energy when needed. The pattern followed is "first comes last and last comes first." Your body will first use the readily available glucose to meet the demand of energy and when it realizes that the activity needs more prolonged energy production, then it will start breaking down more energy from fatty acids to produce energy to meet the demand. Lastly, it breaks downs the deposited fat cells to make energy. To reach that stage you need to stick to your workout program and a healthy eating routine for the long term.
5. Myth: Muscle can turn to fat Reality: I have heard some personal trainers saying these words to their client but it is a myth.
What really happens when you are training is that you increase your high metabolic muscle mass which requires a lot of more energy during exercise or even at resting periods. At the same time, most people tend to follow healthy eating habits while training regularly and that results in increased muscle mass and
decreased fat mass. Likewise, when you stop training, your muscle mass starts to decrease due to lack of training, your metabolic rate also drops, and on top of that eating habits gets worse as they think "I will start my diet when I exercise." Therefore, fat starts getting accumulated at twice the rate. Simply put, the fat cells and muscles cells have entirely different properties.
6. Myth: I am too old to exercise Reality: On the contrary, not moving is much riskier and can speed up the aging process. Inactive people are twice as likely to develop heart diseases, they also have more doctor visits and take more medications.
If you haven't exercised in a long time, begin slowly with a low-impact aerobic activity that raises your heart rate such as swimming. For overall heart health, the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days per week and 2 days per week of strength training. If a half-hour a day sounds daunting, think small. Even a 10-minute walk is a good start.
Exercise doesn't have to mean taking up a new sport, but if there's an activity that you enjoyed doing when you were younger (say, tennis or volleyball), look for a way to get back to it.