These misconceptions could be hurting your workout – and your health.
A lot of myths are relatively harmless. Not those that have to deal with your health and fitness, however. Those can have serious (and in some case downright dangerous) consequences if you take them to heart. Yet despite this fact, we’re all fairly willing to accept all sorts of questionable statements based exclusively on word of mouth. It’s time to bring an end to this bad habit — fast. BuzzFeed has what you really need to know about these common fitness myths.
1. Myth: Every workout should be high-intensity and leave you wiped out.
Not true! If all your workouts are destroying you, you’re probably doing more harm than good. Say goodbye to this fitness myth and stop torturing yourself: if every workout is grueling you won’t give your body any time to heal, and can end up causing serious long-term injuries. Go for you, gentle stretching, or a light jog to balance out all those rigorous workouts.
2. Myth: Rest days are optional.
Not true! Even professional athletes and super-buff actors take rest days, and with good reason: your body needs time to recover. People who ignore recovery days are endorsing one of the biggest fitness myths out there (and missing out on some quality relaxation time too). Skipping your recovery days can lead to disaster: even if you manage to avoid injury, your fitness can hit a standstill or even go downhill without rest days. Take the time to recover and heal. Your body will thank you — and your fitness will improve as a result.
3. Myth: Carbs are the root of all dietary evil.
Not true! Carb-lovers the world around can breathe a sign of relief; this fitness myth is being dispelled fast. Although carbohydrates have been blamed for a variety of miseries (from love handles to out-of-control weight gain), a lot of this is just bad press. While you will undoubtedly gain weight if you try to live exclusively off donuts and garlic bread, if you’re aiming for ideal health and fitness you need to include carbs in your regular diet. Just go for healthier options and remember that moderation is always the key.
4. Myth: Getting stronger is all about the weight.
Not true! If you’re lifting weight you naturally want to see the numbers go up — but that’s not the only factor to keep in mind when you’re working out. Building up strength is about more than the size of the weights: form is a key factor, unless you’re keen on the idea of ending up injured. Spend more time making sure your form is in tip-top shape so you know you’re lifting properly. Soon you’ll be lifting more than ever, and doing it safely.
5. Myth: Motivation and willpower is all you need to succeed.
Not true! Don’t get me wrong — without motivation and willpower, your workout is going nowhere fast. But that’s not enough, and that’s where this fitness myth comes in. You need to start and maintain healthy lifestyles and develop positive habits, or all the motivation in the world isn’t going to be able to keep you going.
Have a good workout!