When it comes to health, weight loss, and exercise, everyone has a list of “dos and don’ts.” The trouble is, it can be hard to distinguish between fact, fiction, and old wives tales. This week, let’s take a look at six common fitness and health-related myths and see if we can shed a little light on whether or not you should pay attention to them.
1-Eating before bed causes weight gain.
Calories are calories no matter what time of day you eat them. Weight gain occurs when calories consumed is greater than calories expended. We know that during sleep, the metabolism slows, so the number of calories burned is lower. To this end, eating before bed when you have not consumed enough calories to offset them, you’ll see weight gain. Consuming calories at any time a day, not just bedtime, without “burning” those calories can cause weight gain.
2-You should detox before starting a workout program.
Detoxing is a popular but somewhat controversial trend. The idea is that “cleansing” your body before beginning a regimen will create a better, healthier version of you by ridding the body of waste and promote weight loss. Detoxing may include fasting, removing all but fruits and vegetables, and drinking blended drinks.
Here’s the thing, most people can’t sustain a calorie deficient diet for more than a few days because they can cause low blood sugar, low energy, and muscle aches. The fact of the matter is, the body has its own detox system. Healthy skin, liver, kidneys, lungs, and digestive system are all that the body needs to rid itself of unwanted substances. Detoxing doesn’t do anything for you that a healthy body can’t.
3-Being healthy equals being thin.
Conventional wisdom has long asserted that being thin is the key to health. As science has progressed, however, that thinking is changing. We now know that there are three basic body types: endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic–bigger builds, medium builds, and smaller builds, respectively. In other words, your genetic makeup has a lot to do with whether or not you can get or remain thin. That’s not to say that lifestyle is not a big contributing factor to whether or not you can become overweight, but each of us may have a ceiling on just how thin we can get. Rather than focusing on how thin we are, the goal should be to achieve and maintain overall fitness and health.
4-Gluten is unhealthy.
One of the top trends of the past few years has been the move to “gluten-free.” You’ve certainly seen the gluten-free options grow–gluten-free cookies, gluten-free cereal, and gluten-free chips and on and on. The truth is, gluten works in our body the same way other proteins do. While some people do have difficulty processing gluten (those with Celiac disease or clinical sensitivity or allergy), for most of us, eliminating gluten from our diet does us absolutely no good. Whole grains like bulgur, barley, and wheat are rich in fiber and nutrients and can be very healthy when part of a balanced diet.
5-Sunblock is only for sunny weather.
Protection from the sun is a big deal, not only because of the heat but because of ultraviolet rays (UV). As a best case, UV rays will give you a good sunburn, in the worst case, skin cancer. UV rays, categorized as UVA and UVB, damage collagen in the skin, cause cells to rapidly grow and age, and sometimes they directly impact DNA. On a cloudy day, you may be tempted to skip the sunblock, but don’t do that. While clouds may block sunlight, they do not block UV rays. So don’t take the risk of not wearing sunscreen–the higher the SPF, the better.
6-Exercise requires a big time commitment.
There’s no question that achieving fitness requires a commitment, but it doesn’t have to take big blocks of time. With new advances in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) fitness can be achieved and maintained with much shorter exercise sessions than was previously thought. Another advantage of HIIT is that an effective program can be low-impact to minimize wear and tear on joints and ligaments.
2Perform is a McKinney, Texas-based fitness studio that features state-of-the-art ARX equipment. Using the principles of HIIT, you can achieve fitness on as little as 20 minutes twice a week. 2Perform offers both group and private training. To learn more about us, stop by or call to claim a free introductory training evaluation.