10 Myths You Hear At The Gym

If you’ve ever eavesdropped on fellow gym members while you’re working out or when you’re standing in line at the juice bar and heard their conversations about what to do and when to do it and how, you might find yourself wondering what is true and what is myth. In this article, we will list the ten most common myths you hear at the gym and either verify them or debunk them.

Myth 1: If you drink a lot of water, it will help you lose weight

drinking-water-workoutFact: Although this is one of the most common myths believed by the vast majority of people, there is virtually no science to back it up. People will tell you that if you drink a lot of water you will have very healthy skin or you will flush most of the toxins out of your body.  But when you get right down to it, there is no science behind this belief to make it true. Scientists and physicians from the University of Pennsylvania will tell you that these kind of benefits from drinking a lot of water just are not true. The myth that drinking a lot of water will help ease your hunger pangs and make you less hungry is also, unfortunately, just not true. Drinking a lot of water may help you eat less because you’re running back and forth to the bathroom all day long but that’s about the only benefit you will get from ingesting large amounts of water. And more to the point, the people who tell you that you need to drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water each day? They are also wrong. Human beings only need to drink water when they are thirsty and this means about 4 to 6 glasses a day will be plenty.

Myth 2: You must stretch before you work out to avoid injury

stretching-before-workoutFact: It is extremely beneficial to stretch after you’ve had a workout but stretching before you work out will not make you more flexible or increase your range of motion. Some physicians believe that if you stretch prior to working out that doing so will destabilize your muscles thus making you more prone to injuring yourself. They suggest that doing a short warm-up is adequate enough because it will get your blood pumping and prime you for your exercise.

Myth 3: People who eat a vegetarian diet are healthier

cook-vegetariansFact: The only thing that makes eating a vegetarian diet healthier is that they generally, by the very nature of what they’re called, include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Most dietitians would tell you, however, that removing an entire food group — meat — even accounting for its higher levels of saturated fat is not such a good idea. Meat provides a great deal of iron to the human body when it is eaten and that keeps your energy levels stable and helps you to think more clearly. Meat also helps the body produce certain enzymes which help to fight infection. Scientists have also discovered that women who do not consume meat in their diet are at higher risk for developing postpartum depression following the birth of a baby.

Most vegetarians will try to get their iron by eating legumes like lentils or other beans, tofu or cereals which have been fortified with iron.

Myth 4: If you lift weights your body will take on a bulky appearance

weight_liftingFact: The truth is that using free weights will not turn you into the Incredible Hulk. If you really want to increase your muscle size, the only way you will be able to do that is by taking testosterone. If you’re a woman, it simply can’t and won’t happen. The reason men tend to bulk up is because they have between 20 to 30 times more testosterone in their bodies than women do. If you secretly want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger you would have to a tremendous amount of weight lifting, much more than the average woman would be able to sustain. The truth of the matter is that strength training will help you lose weight because it will help you build lean muscle and lean muscle burns fat. This means that you should spend a little less time on the elliptical machine and a little bit more time doing bicep curls when you work out three times a week.

Myth 5: If you want to prevent painful bouncing, wear a sports bra

sports-braFact: Wearing a sports bra will do more than just prevent painful bouncing. It will also help keep your breasts from developing permanent sagginess. You may think that your breasts will sag just because you’re getting older and gravity is doing its work. But high-impact exercises such as aerobics can also cause your breasts to sag. This is because doing high-impact exercises will affect the connective tissue in your breasts that helps to keep them firm. If you’re going to choose a sports bra, look for some kind of compression bra if you’re a small breasted woman. Women with breasts larger than a size C should choose an encapsulation bra which will provide support to each breast independently. You should always replace your workout bra every six months.

Myth 6: Taking a hot bath will keep your muscles from getting sore

hot-bath-post-workoutFact: Surprisingly the exact opposite is true. If you settle into a tub of chilled water, it has an effect similar to an ice pack on your entire body. The process of exercising opens your blood vessels and they will remain opened like that for about an hour after you have finished your workout. The soreness happens because lactic acid enters your muscles through your dilated vessels. Chilled water will cause your blood vessels to constrict cawhich will limit how much lactic acid can get into your muscles.

Myth 7: Running will not help your strength training

running-strength-trainingFact: This could not be farther from the truth. If you are hoping to increase your muscle mass on a dramatic level, this might be true. But running helps develop lean muscle mass and that helps keep your bones healthy. This does not mean that you can completely substitute running for your strength-training program. You will need to continue doing your lower-body strength training so continue with your squats and lunges and push-ups.

Myth 8: Keeping some weights in your hand during cardio exercise will increase your calorie burn

This is one of the myths we all really, really want to believe. And the answer is that it is true but it doesn’t help enough to make it worthwhile. It is true that keeping some weights in your hands while you’re doing cardio does help the calorie burn but only slightly. But doing any kind of uncontrolled movements can cause damage to your joints and can actually cause muscle injury. The better and more effective option is to either increase your speed or your resistance level. You’ll get better results if you do either one of those.

Myth 9: Eating fresh fruit is much better for you than eating frozen fruit

frozen-fruitsFact: Do you have any idea how long fresh fruit sits around once its been harvested before it ends up in your grocery store? While it’s hanging around waiting to be shipped it can and does lose a lot of its vitamin nutrients especially its vitamin C. Frozen fruit, on the other hand, is picked and fast frozen while it is at its peak of freshness.

Myth 10: If you want to get rid of your belly fat you have to do crunches

Fact: Some people can do belly crunches until the cows come home and never sport a six-pack. Seems crazy, but it’s true. This is what will happen if your abs are covered with a lot of fat because it is impossible to “spot train”. If this were not the case, wouldn’t it make sense that everyone would be showing off their gorgeously sculpted thighs and abdominal muscles? If you want to get rid of your belly fat you first have to get rid of most of your overall body fat. The best way to do this is through cardio exercises and strength training.


Why Drinking Water Will Help You Lose Weight

drinking-water-weight-lossConsuming adequate amounts of water is extremely important when you are dieting but probably not for reasons you may suspect.

When you first begin to lose weight, it will mostly be water weight. It is, therefore, very important that you drink enough water to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated. If you become dehydrated you may begin to feel faint. In most cases, the human body can absorb enough water from the blood in order to keep you going. But if you become dehydrated enough, by the time you realize it has happened, you may be close to going into shock. This can be a medical emergency. Do not let yourself become dehydrated while you are dieting. Drink plenty of fluids throughout your day.

If you are burning calories, your body needs an adequate amount of water if it is going to function efficiently. If you become dehydrated, you will only slow this process down and will end up burning fewer calories. It is also extremely important to stay properly hydrated especially if you are exercising. Even non-strenuous exercise requires proper hydration.

If you are burning calories while exercising, the process will create a number of different toxins similar to the way a car throws off exhaust fumes when it is burning. Drinking plenty of water will help flush these toxins from your body when you excrete urine.

When you are dehydrated, your blood volume will decrease which will cause your body to produce less oxygen. If you are making less oxygen, your muscles will not be receiving enough fuel and you will feel overly tired.

Water also helps your body maintain its muscle tone because it helps them contract and expand. As well, it lubricates your joints making movement easier and less strenuous. Having enough water in your system will also decrease the amount of soreness you will experience in your joints or muscles after a workout.

In order to lose weight, you have to include enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is considered to be very helpful with the digestive process but it won’t work well if you don’t have enough water in your system. Instead, your digestive tract will become sluggish and you may even become constipated.

If you drink a glass of water before you sit down to eat a meal, your stomach will be fuller and you will be more likely to eat less. Having said that, however, it is important to remember that your body needs nutrition and calories, not just bulk. So enjoy a nice, refreshing glass of water at dinner but be sure you also enjoy a meal.

How much water is enough?

drinking-water-exerciseMost diet books will tell you that every person should drink about eight to ten 8 ounce glasses of water per day. This is just an average. The right amount you need will largely depend on several factors such as how much you weigh, the temperature of the region in which you live and the kind of diet you normally consume.

Your diet becomes important in calculating how much water to drink because if you regularly eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables which tend to be very water-dense food, the actual amount of water you will need to consume will be far less. It’s not a bad idea to do some experimenting on your own but your body will also let you know how much water you actually need to drink. I you are drinking enough water, your urine will be very pale in color. Just remember, though, that if you are also taking vitamins or any food supplements, these things can discolor your urine and make it darker. If you find yourself constantly running to the bathroom to urinate, you are probably drinking a little bit too much water so ease off a bit. A good rule of thumb is to drink a little bit more water if you aren’t sure if you’re drinking enough.

You shouldn’t worry that if you’re drinking a lot of water that it will make you look bloated. The reasons people become bloated are very complicated but it usually has to do with having too much sodium (salt) in their diet. Drinking large amounts of fluid is not a cause of bloating. It is possible to endanger your health by drinking too much water but it’s rather difficult to do. But water does dilute the body’s electrolytes and some people who are compelled to exercise to extreme can run into a serious electrolyte imbalance. This can be a life-threatening situation so don’t exercise to extreme. If you are determined to over-exercise then be sure to drink lots of fluids like Gatorade to replace your electrolytes.

Tips on Drinking Water

lose-weight-drinking-waterIt is important to remember that there are other ways to give your body fluids than just through drinking water alone. Coffee, tea as well as soda also contain water. So does alcohol. But coffee, tea and soda also contain caffeine and caffeine acts as a diuretic something that causes your body to release fluid through urination. If you are drinking things like this, make sure you drink extra plain water to make up for what you’ll lose through urination.

If you are drinking a lot of alcohol, be sure you also drink a lot of water, especially if you want to avoid having a hangover in the morning. If you do happen to wake up with a hangover, drink plenty of water when you take your aspirin.

Remember that by the time you start to feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. If you anticipate a vigorous workout, drink lots of water in advance so you can avoid becoming dehydrated in the first place.

Rather than starting your morning off with an extra large cup of joe, why not start off with a large 8 ounce glass of water to rehydrate yourself after a night sleeping? It’s a great way to start the day off on a positive note. And it definitely has fewer calories than a glass of orange juice.

Other Benefits of Water

benefits-of-drinking-waterHaving a well hydrated body will also keep your skin from drying out and showing aging. You will have to spend less money on special creams and lotions which will help keep your skin hydrated and help keep it looking younger but why not get to the root of the issue and keep your skin hydrated from the inside out? Since I’ve started drinking plenty of water, I’ve been able to stop buying my Oil of Olay. Has saved me a TON of money. Believe me.

Not having enough water in your system will also force your body to try to compensate by trying to retain water. This make you look puffy and bloated. Not a good look.

Water will also suppress your appetite to a certain degree which will also help you lose weight. Being properly hydrated will help your body burn fat stores.  If you’re not drinking enough water, your liver is forced to help your kidneys in the detoxification process. Having enough water in your system places less burden on your kidneys and allows your liver to do its job properly: metabolizing stored fat efficiently and properly.


5 Tips For Natural Weight Loss

When I started to make the switch away from synthetic fat loss supplements, I got worried that I might never get the same kind of results from a natural supplement. It is easy to think that you have to have synthetic help with your weight loss in order to have any success. In fact, though, research has discovered that there are plenty of natural ways to boost your weight loss, most of which I’ve had a lot of success with. Read through all of these and think about adding a few into your life.

Drink More Water

natural-weight-lossI mention water on a regular basis, but it really is that important. A tall glass first thing in the morning, between meals, with meals and at the end of the day will keep you well hydrated. 8 glasses is the standard recommendation, but if you feel thirsty having more water is never harmful. Never hesitate to drink a glass if you are headed to the kitchen or getting ready to have a soda.

If you don’t drink enough you will develop hypertension, feel tired and you might have a lot of difficulties losing some weight. Your body can only survive for a couple of days without water. That makes it almost more important than food! Keep in mind that fat is never going to burn off if you aren’t hydrated properly.

Have A Cup Of Green Tea

I had a huge amount of success with drinking green tea. A recent study found that a 250mg capsule of green tea extract charged participants metabolism by 25% for three hours after taking it. If you take a capsule with each meal that will mean that your metabolism is in pure fat burning mode for about 6 hours a day. The addition of caffeine to the mix means that this truly is one of the best natural ways to lose weight.

Switch From Coffee To Yerba Mate

Even switching between different natural beverages can have a huge impact on your life. Coffee is great, and I can’t make it through the day without it, but there are better options when it comes to losing weight. Yerba Mate is a relatively unknown drink that features a combination of stimulants that gives a long lasting, clean energy feeling that helps you stay motivated and burning fat for much longer. There isn’t the crash that coffee is associated with.

For weight loss specifically, yerba mate is important. The long lasting energy means that you can burn fat for longer. Coffee can be great for giving you a boost that will kickstart your metabolism, but it isn’t going to last much and then you don’t have the motivation to eat a healthy meal or workout. You can read about 10 other herbs that help lose weight.


Give Meditation A Shot

When it comes to changing something in your life, very few things have given me the kind of benefits that meditation has. Weight loss is only one of the benefits that you are going to find through a meditation practice.

Increased focus, sense of well being, a longer life, and a healthier body are all possible with meditation. In particular, it encourages your body to release the kinds of hormones that regulate body composition and weight. Growth hormone is important to your body and when you meditate to release more of it, you find that you feel stronger and more energetic throughout the day. Your workouts will be easier and you will no doubt see a massive increase in your results.

Moreover you can also try visualizing yourself as if you have already achieved your ideal weight. You can visualize how people will react to it, how you start getting a lot of attention again and every other positive thing that could happen to you by achieving your ideal weight. We will talk about this in more detail in another post by I just felt like mentioning it here. Visualization is most effective when you are in a relaxed meditative state.

Yoga is another great way to lose weight, I wrote about it here.

Get Better Sleep

5-natural-weight-loss-tipsThis is another one that I bring up time and time again. Sleep is essential to your well being and it is one thing that will increase your chances of success more than almost everything else combined. To be honest, a lack of sleep will make you gain weight, feel tired, and become depressed. Sound sleep on the other hand, means that you will be well equipped to handle the day.

If you think that this might be part of your problem, focus on fixing this immediately. For Starters, don’t eat carbohydrates before bed. You should also make sure that you go to bed at the same time every night. Waking up at the same time every day is just as important. If you still need help once you get used to a new routine, try eating a handful of nuts just before you go to bed. The healthy fats and protein that are packed into nuts will give your body a steady source of energy throughout the night only without keeping you awake like carbohydrates do.

All of these can make a huge impact on your life without having to rely on synthetic, harmful alternatives. Staying hydrated and sleeping properly will take care of a lot of it, but if you add in some other cures you’ll exponentially increase your success. Take a good look at your life and these tips. I know that you will find something that can help you and the results you start to see will be absolutely amazing, I can promise you that.