Fitness fictions. Shredded!

Fitness fictions. Shredded!

Exercise is a prime target for ‘get-fit-quick’ myths – perhaps in the hope of some easy shortcuts. Here are four of those fictions to be consigned to the dustbin.

Fiction: eating after 6pm makes you fatter

The ‘anti-carb’ people are particularly keen on this one, with the theory that food eaten later in the day goes straight into fat.

It is nonsense. Your stomach doesn’t know what time of day it is. Food is processed and used for your body in the same way whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. All that matters is how many calories you take in and that you eat the right mix of nutrients.

Fiction: you should stretch before a workout

This one is actually quite harmful. Cold muscles should not be strained or stretched – this can damage them. The correct time for gentle stretching is AFTER a workout.

Fiction: targeted exercises will burn fat in particular places

‘Spot-reducing’ with exercise works as well as it does with diet. That is, not at all. A good workout programme covers all areas of the body and will improve muscle tone and strength. The only way to ‘burn’ fat is to move it around.

Fiction: the gym is only for fit people

The glossy posters and commercials can give the impression that gyms are only for the young, slim and beautiful.  Walk into any gym or leisure centre and you will see that this is not the case. Gyms can’t make you younger, but they are there to help you improve your fitness and health. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done any formal exercise before and you don’t need to be fit to get fit.

Fiction belongs on the bookshelf. Try your local gym for the fitness facts!

Comments

Dennis P.
23 May 2014

Dennis P.

I completely agree with your article. It’s possible to know about it and it will snow me good ways of this topic. This is very nice post! I will bookmark this blog.

Clare R.
2 April 2014

Clare R.

there may be no 'magic clock' in the stomach but we all have different daily rhythms. I am always hungry within 10 minutes of waking, but my husband can't face breakfast for at least an hour. I think that the point is that we can eat when we want - but not always WHAT we want.

Derek B.
2 April 2014

Derek B.

I'm an illustration of your point, Mary. I can see the eating-after-6-pm thing is nonsence. But I can't let go of the conviction that those crunches are keeping my abs in shape.

Mary C.
2 April 2014

Mary C.

Funny how ingrained these 'myths' become. I'm very attached to the habit of not eating after 6pm, even if it's not based in science - I definitely feel better for it. The other ones I'm much happier to accept as myths. I guess for other people it'll be the other way round.

Elliot M.
1 April 2014

Elliot M.

I like the myth "the gym is only for fit people". How exactly did theses people get fit? Erm, by going to the gym

Phillip H.
1 April 2014

Phillip H.

Graham has it - stretches come after warm up, and they must be gentle before a workout. I was told never to bounce a stretch.

Freya W.
31 March 2014

Freya W.

Tanya's right with that piece of common sense. Burn off more than you consume - that's the way to lose weight and keep fit.

Tanya M.
31 March 2014

Tanya M.

There are plenty of fitness groups and 'diet clubs' who'll tell you carbs are the devil and eating at anything but 'regular meal times' is the worst thing you can do. It's all rubbish though. Keeping fit is easy - use more than you consume - that's the mantra I stick to and it won't change because some 'expert' says it's wrong. These tips are really helpful, thanks.

Pete R.
31 March 2014

Pete R.

I think just generally keeping warm and supple before a race is important

Graham N.
31 March 2014

Graham N.

Stretching after a 5/10 min gentle cardio warm-up is sensible before lifting weights.

Callum M.
31 March 2014

Callum M.

Hmm, are we sure about the not stretching before exercise thing? I'm pretty sure that a really gentle stretch gets your body ready for exercise. But I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong!

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