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Four fitness myths

Published in Weight Management, For the Health of It Author: Alyssa Monson, Registered Dietitian

Myth: No pain, no gain
While you should have some discomfort while exercising (tiredness, mild burning in your muscles), you should not have pain. It is OK to be sore the day or two after working out. But an activity should not hurt while you are doing it. If it does, you may not have the correct form or you already have an injury. You may have heard “work through the pain.” Do not! If it hurts, stop and rest and see if it goes away. If it doesn’t go away or begins again after you start to work out, see your health care provider.

Myth: You can target fat loss with exercise
We’ve all seen it. The tagline on magazines, the “best exercises to a flat tummy” Pinterest pins. Fat loss is not localized, it is systemic. Most of those exercise routines promising to flatten your tummy or lose your bat wings focus on the muscles underneath the fat. To flatten your tummy, overall fat loss is needed. The way to lose fat is to focus on a healthful diet and a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training. You may not lose weight in your “trouble” spot first, so be patient and continue your diet and lifestyle changes. After all, you didn’t get to choose where you put the fat on, so you don’t get to choose where it comes off.

Myth: Lifting weights makes women bulky
Women typically have less muscle tissue than men due to lower production of testosterone. So, unless a woman produces as much testosterone as a male, she will not bulk up nearly as easy as her male counterpart. On the other hand, lifting weights can actually help to maintain muscle and strength as you age for both men and women. It can also help to promote bone strength and prevent bone loss.

Just for fun myth: Sweating means you’re out of shape.
Interestingly enough, most often, the fitter you are, the sooner your body begins to sweat (more efficient body cooling). So wear those sweat marks with pride — you efficient sweating machine!