I don’t know about you guys but it seems this time of year brings a new level of unnecessary fitness pressure/anxiety. I love that the start of a new year gives us that extra boost of motivation, but it also seems to draw out a load of misinformation.
Things can get pretty confusing to say the least. It’s okay though – having worked my way through my fair share of fitness fads, I’m here to dispel the myths to save you time, money and endless hours pounding that treadmill.
Fitness Myth #1 – No pain, no gain.
Exercise should not be painful in order to be effective. It shouldn’t be painful full stop. Yes, a tough training session will cause a bit of discomfort in your muscles and fatigue on the body but that’s it.
Let’s stop using negative language when it comes to training. Exercise should make you happy.
Fitness Myth #2 – You have to do cardio for weight-loss.
Cardio is not essential for weight-loss. A calorie deficit can be created from literally any form of physical activity and looking after your nutrition.
Walk to work, go trampolining and test out your new adidas sports bra, swap your Pepsi for diet, opt for just one hob nob with your cup of tea instead of 3*; you don’t need to pound the treadmill unless you genuinely enjoy it.
*or 9. #EyeballsEmoji
Fitness Myth #3 – Weighing scales measure your progress.
The only thing your bathroom scales measure is your force of gravity to the ground. Your scales can’t measure height, muscle mass or happiness. They don’t know when you’ve had an amazing gym session or hit a new PB on your deadlift.
That single number fluctuates depending on so many things; the time of day, time of your cycle, what you just ate, how much water you’ve had. I could but won’t go on.
Use clothes, measuring tape or those bathroom selfies instead. Both your body and mind will thank you for it.
Fitness Myth #4 – Exercise to beat cellulite
This one might hurt (but it shouldn’t). There is simply no exercise which gets rid of cellulite – AND IT’S OKAY.
Generally, everyone has cellulite including men, women, and the airbrushed models you see on your Instagram feed. It’s part of our body and it’s about time we started accepting it. Maintaining a healthy body fat percentage and increasing muscle mass can reduce the appearance in some instances, but no exercise, scrub or cream can get rid of it so let’s just embrace it ladies. I know I love mine.
Fitness Myth #5 – Body fat spot reduction
Again, don’t hate me but you can’t decide which parts of your body you’d like to lose fat from. ‘How to lose bingo wings’, ’how to burn belly fat’ and ‘how to get rid of a muffin top’ may be some the most Googled terms on the interweb but you can’t spot reduce when it comes to weight-loss.
Trust me, I have the world’s least defined jawline ever. My chin and neck basically merge into one. The moment I stopped Googling neck exercises (true story) and just accepted myself, I stopped caring.
Fitness Myth #6 – Waist trainers
Aside from squishing your insides and making your stomach super sweaty, the only thing waist trainers are good for is losing pounds. Monetary pounds. ££££.
They do not make you lose weight, despite what the Kardashians might claim. The ‘slimming’ effect lasts about as long as the imprint of a tight hairband on your wrist and are extremely uncomfortable.
Instead, treat yourself to some technical activewear and focus on your nutrition, exercise and sleep.
Fitness Myth #7 – Weight-loss = happiness
Happiness isn’t a destination you arrive at once you lose x amount of body fat. It’s something that comes from within and is dependent on many different aspects including your mindset and your relationships.
By all means, exercising and eating better can increase your confidence which may in turn improve those areas of your life. However, you simply can’t rely on your physical appearance for your own personal happiness.
(Activewear, on the other hand is scientifically proven* to make you happy. My new adidas Crop Longsleeve Zip Top makes me very happy.)
Now let’s leave the fads in the past. It’s time to smash 2017, and make this the best year yet.