Heather Grier, personal trainer at Edward Health & Fitness Center - Naperville, reveals the truth about some common exercise myths.
1. Women who lift weights will get bulky muscles.
Women don't have enough testosterone to develop large, bulky muscles.
2. Spot reducing is possible.
It's simply not possible to "burn off" fat from a specific body part by exercising that area. Only regular exercise-aerobic and strength-and a sensible diet can melt body fat.
3. Exercise requires a hefty time commitment.
As little as 30 minutes a day works for health and fitness; 60 minutes a day will help with weight loss.
4. Muscle weighs more than fat.
A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. The difference is that muscle is much more dense than fat. Therefore, a pound of muscle will take up much less room than a pound of fat. Muscle also is significantly more vascularized (more blood supply) than fat and will cause you to burn more calories at rest.
5. Exercising at low intensity burns more fat.
Many people have thought that lower intensity workouts put them in the "fat burning zone." In reality, you're burning a greater percentage of total calories-including fat calories-when you exercise at a higher intensity. The bottom line is calories in versus calories out.
6. You should always do your weight training just before your aerobic exercise session because you burn more fat that way.
The order in which you exercise does not affect how you lose weight.
7. Weight training with free weights is much more effective than with machines.
For the purposes of general fitness, muscle toning, and weight loss, it doesn't matter. Do whatever you are most comfortable with and are most likely to do on a regular basis.
8. Excessive sweating while exercising means you're not fit.
The more fit you are, the more you'll sweat. Sweating is the body's way of cooling itself. This mechanism improves as you exercise regularly.
9. If you stop exercising your muscle will turn to fat.
Muscle does not turn into fat or vice versa. Muscle and fat are completely different substances. Muscle is protein and fat is well, fat! When you quit working out, your muscle atrophies and gets smaller and flabbier. You use it or lose it – it does not turn into fat!
10. There's a magic bullet out there.
There is no quick fix. Those nutritional supplements use deceptive, misleading or fraudulant advertising.