Don’t be fooled…
There are so many new fads and quick fixes in the fitness world. Unfortunately, there are many fitness lies that women are being tricked by daily. Here are 3 of the big ones:
Fitness Lie #1:
“Cardio is always the best way to burn calories.”
Yes. Cardio does typically burn more calories in the moment than weight training does. BUT – did you know that you burn more AFTER a workout with weight training than after a workout with cardio?
“Studies have demonstrated that after a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout, meaning rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, you’re burning 70. While you may think, ‘Big deal – 10 extra calories’, when you multiply this by 36 hours, you can see what a huge difference that makes in your daily calorie expenditure over that day and a half…With cardio training, you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderate paced session, and this will depend upon the exact intensity and duration of the workout.”4
Fitness Truth #1:
“Cardio burns calories and prevents heart disease.”
While it is not advised to only do cardiovascular exercises, it has great health benefits including:
- A Healthy Heart: The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise OR 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise per week. 1 In addition, they recommend adding “moderate-to high intensity muscle strengthening activity at least twice per week.”1 Any degree of implementing these workouts will help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke: which are the 1st and 5th highest cause of death in the United States. 1
- Faster Metabolism: In general, the higher the intensity your cardio is, the faster your metabolism will be. 5 This is another reason to focus on HIIT workouts vs. drawn out cardio sessions.
- “Feel Good” Hormones: “[Cardio] releases ‘feel good’ hormones that will help ease symptoms of depression and fatigue as well as releasing hormones that decrease the appetite. Individuals who partake in regular cardio exercise often have a much more positive outlook on life simply because they are getting the stress-relief benefits from these hormones.” 5
- Diabetes Management: Nearly 1 in 10 Americans is living with diabetes. 2 Thankfully, cardiovascular exercise “increase[s] your muscle’s ability to utilize glucose.” 5 This helps alleviate swings in blood sugar levels, which gives you more control over your life! 5
Action Step #1:
Try at HIIT workout!
Instead of spending hours on the elliptical, incorporate cardio into your workout more efficiently. For example, you will burn MORE calories in LESS time sprinting or doing a HIIT workout. HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training. This means that you exercise at a high intensity level, for short bursts of time (aka intervals). This can be applied to running, lifting, jumping or any other exercise you like. If you are looking for a place to start, there are numerous free HIIT videos on YouTube!
Fitness Lie #2:
“If I lift weights, I will get bulky and look like a “She-Hulk.”
Women do NOT naturally have enough testosterone to accidentally become bulky. In fact, many men don’t even have enough testosterone to naturally become bulky. Please do NOT worry about this!
Fitness Truth #2:
Weight training is great for your overall health AND fat loss goals!
Here are a few of the many benefits of weight training:
- Weight training leads to more muscle mass. The higher percent of muscle you have in your body, the higher your metabolism will be. 4 That means you will burn more calories doing laundry, taxiing your kids to soccer practice or catching up on your favorite tv show.
- Muscle takes up less space than fat, so even if you are the same weight, you may be able to go down in a pants size! 3 You will also be able to enjoy a firmer “toned” look!
- Weight training strengthens your bone density. Thin, post-menopausal women are at the highest risk of osteoporosis. 6 While you may not be at that point now, strengthening your bones today will help you maintain your independence tomorrow.
Action Step #2:
Start weight training today!
Don’t know where to start? The best case scenario would be to meet with a personal trainer. Even if you are only able to do one session, he or she can show you proper form and design a plan for you. If hiring a personal trainer is not a reality, there are numerous free plans and videos that will show you how to safely do exercises.
DO make sure that you are lifting a weight that you can lift with proper form, but DON’T just stick to the 3 or 5 lb. weights. You can do more than that! Make your workouts count.
Fitness Lie #3:
“The more time I spend working out, the better my results will be.”
Working out too long can stress your body; your body will start to produce cortisol which CREATES belly fat! 3 This is the opposite of your desired result. Instead, limit your workout to 45 minutes of work at a time. 3 Note: this doesn’t mean 15 minutes of actual lifting and 30 minutes of checking your phone; it means 45 minutes of actively working out.
Fitness Truth #3:
An effective short workout is better than a long cardio session.
Why should I switch to a shorter workout?
- One of the best ways to workout smart and efficiently is with a HIIT workout. HIIT training is not only more time effective (and let’s face it, you are busy) but it also increases your metabolism so you are burning more during the rest of the day. 7 “HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!” 7
- If you work out for hours on end, you are going to be very hungry. It is very easy to then consume more calories than you burned!
Action Step #3:
When you choose to workout, go all in for a short amount of time.
You should be able to get an incredible workout completed in 45 minutes or less. 3 Try a HIIT workout, or another workout plan that includes bursts of high intensity movement. Don’t want to give up your distance running training? Just pair it with some sprints; for example, every 1 mile you jog, make sure that you sprint for 1/8 mile of it.
Don’t be fooled by the fitness lies we so often believe. Instead, find a good mix of cardio and weight training. Don’t feel pressured to spend hours in the gym, but work out smart and efficiently.
Comment below to tell us your favorite way to live fit!