3 Fitness Myths Preventing You from Accomplishing Your Goals

Are these common fitness myths may be preventing you from accomplishing your goals?

Fitness Myths True False

The internet is filled with free workout videos, exercise videos, fitness books, etc. that provide advice about fitness and how to drop a few pounds. Like anything, some of the information is credible and some of it not so much. Unfortunately sometimes the false information becomes so pervasive that it actually comes to be accepted as fact by many people. Our friend and fitness expert Bob Bateson refers to these as fitness myths and he loves debunking them whenever he gets the opportunity. With more than 25 years working in the fitness industry, Bob often finds himself setting the record straight on a number of these myths. These are the three that he says he encounters most often.

fitness myths scale

Myth #1: Want to lose weight… consume fewer calories.
If you plug your gender and size into most fitness apps, you will probably be given a calorie goal of between 1200-1500 calories per day. Although this might happen to be accurate for you, these numbers are based on average body compositions that are likely different from yours. In reality your calorie goal should be based on a calculation known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This number is assessed by using your specific body composition to calculate the number of calories your body burns at rest in a 24-hour period. Put simply this is the number of calories your body needs to properly sustain life.
This means that if your BMR is 1500 calories and you are only consuming the recommended 1200 calories you are failing to provide your body with enough fuel to make it through the day (if you were resting). While this may seem to be producing favorable results in the short-term, over a period of time your body will begin to store calories in the form of fat to ensure survival.

Bottom Line: The best way to manage your weight is to understand how your body works and to use weight reduction strategies that cut the extra calories that are consumed in addition to your BMR. Which means that you may actually have to take in more calories.

fitness myth body builder

Myth #2: Strength training will make you look like a bodybuilder.
According to Bob, this may be the most common fitness myth that he hears, especially among women. The reality is that it is a big enough challenge for men, who have the added advantage of muscle producing testosterone to help them out, to add that type of muscle mass. Most women simply don’t have the biochemical composition to add enough muscle mass to get “bulky.” This myth often results in people skipping resistance training and doing only cardio (we’ll address that problem next).

 fat vs muscle fitness myths

The simple fact is that lean muscle takes up less space than fat. If you were to look at 1 lb. of muscle compared to 1 lb. of fat you would see that the fat is almost double the size of the muscle. There’s a tremendous difference between a person who weighs 200 lbs. with 5% body fat and a person who weighs 200 lbs. with 30-40% body fat. What’s better is that lean muscle mass helps your body burn more fat, this means that you get leaner.

Bottom Line: Strength training in the endurance work zone (12-15 Reps) will increase lean muscle mass, reduce fat, and have you looking leaner.

Active Lifestyle

Myth #3: You must do more cardio if you want to lose weight.
Although cardio makes you feel as if you got a great workout in and it is definitely convenient (No thinking involved, put on your iPod, set it, and go), the reality is that cardio alone burns fewer calories than weight training. In fact resistance training in the work zone (lifting the maximum amount of weight for a desired number of repetitions) can produce a calorie burn that is 3x’s higher than cardio.

Bottom Line: No, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do cardio. Having a strong cardiovascular system is essential to achieving your fitness goals. However, if your fitness goal is to burn fat, it is essential that you do your resistance training, in the work zone, first and save your cardio for the last 15-20 minutes of your workout.

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Cardio or Resistance Training?

 

 

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Tipping the Scales: Getting Started on the Journey to a Healthier You

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If you ask most people who are overweight or unhealthy, they will tell you that they want to get rid of the excess weight or start living a healthier lifestyle. However in many cases their aspirations are often followed with qualifying statements such as, “after the holidays,” “at the beginning of the month,” “next week,” “as soon as I finish (fill in the blank),”… Sound familiar?

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The fact is that many of us associate pain or sacrifice with living a healthier lifestyle, so it’s only natural that we will try to postpone that pain as long as possible.  The trick to getting started on the journey to your transformation- immediately–  is to associate more pain with being unhealthy than you do with the process of getting fit.

The tipping point:

When asked how they did it, people who have been successful at transforming their bodies and completely changing their lifestyles often state that they reached a tipping point. A point where the pain of continuing to live an unhealthy lifestyle outweighed (pardon the pun) the pain and sacrifice required to achieve and maintain their health. In many cases the tipping point was a simple event: getting winded walking up the stairs, outgrowing another pair of pants, being unable to play with the kids or grand kids, or simply seeing a holiday picture and finally realizing just how unhealthy they had actually become. While for others it was more serious: a heart attack, or perhaps the death of a friend or family member due to poor health. Whatever the event, no matter how big or small, it caused these individuals to take the most important step in their journey. In that moment, they decided that they were no longer willing to accept their current situation and that they were going to make changes immediately.

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This is the point that you MUST get to if you want to have a truly successful journey. Make a list of the things that you can’t do or that are extremely difficult for you to do as a result of your unhealthy body and pick out the one or two things that you are no longer willing to accept. Think of the pain that these things cause in your life and associate that pain with your unhealthy weight/lifestyle. Now be unwilling to accept this pain for another day and be willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of it. Finally affirm your decision by stating it out loud:

“Starting NOW I will no longer  allow myself to feel like this or suffer from things that are within my ability to control. Starting NOW I will make the changes necessary to conquer this pain and  enjoy the life that I was intended to live.”

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Start your day with a Positive Mental Attitude and Carpe Diem

Woman Turning Off Alarm

Have you ever woke up and immediately started to dread the day at hand? One of those days where your schedule seems to be overflowing with meetings, deadlines, quotas, the kids’ after school activities, and a whole host of other responsibilities. You almost wish you could bury your head under the sheets and make it STOP! It turns out that this type of negative approach to the day may be contributing to a self-fulfilling prophecy of misery for your day. Research has shown that our mental attitude has a profound effect on the way that we interpret various events. The key is to focus on having a positive mental attitude and seize the day (carpe diem).

Perception is everything

In her article, “7 Keys To Having A Positive Mental Attitude” Nancy Friedman highlights the power of a positive mental attitude (PMA) through the telling of a funny story about a brother and a sister. The story goes that a brother had finally had enough of his sister’s constant, overly positive attitude so he derived a plan to bring out the worst in her one Christmas morning. He wrapped up some horse manure in a box and placed it under the tree; knowing that there was no way that anyone could be positive about receiving such a crappy gift (pun intended). He watched with eager anticipation as his sister grabbed the box and gave it a shake in an attempt to determine its contents. She unwrapped it and finally the moment of truth was at hand; his sister’s positive attitude was about to come crashing down and he couldn’t wait. However to his dismay, his evil plot failed as he watched his sister excitedly yell, “Where’s the pony?!”

Girl at Christmas Time

While this story may be a little extreme, the lesson is unmistakable. Our mental attitude has a major impact on the way that we interpret the world around us. If we can start the day with a positive mental attitude, no matter how overwhelming our schedules may be, it will be more productive, less stressful, and more enjoyable than if we go into it with a sense of trepidation and filled with negativity.

5 Ways you can boost your PMA and ‘seize the day!’

1. Create a morning exercise routine.
Get your body moving first thing in the morning. Exercise gets your blood flowing and releases dopamine and endorphins that help boost your PMA.
2. Spend at least 10 minutes reading something positive.
Don’t read the news (it’s usually depressing). Instead read something positive and motivational. This could be motivational quotes, a motivational or self-improvement book; anything that helps boost your attitude. NOTE: Social Media (Facebook,Twitter, Etc…) does not qualify as motivational content. I know there are motivational pages – like CANI’s- but your news feed can be a harmful distraction so avoid social media and stick with books and blogs.
3. Meditate.
Don’t know how? Learn! There are many methods that you can research(Transcendental Meditation, Buddhist, etc). Find one that you are comfortable with and practice it. Most methods have you focus on breathing or a mantra to help put the mind into a trance-like state, allowing it to reset. There are a number of studies that show the positive effects that meditation has and how it contributes to a PMA.
4. Take inventory of the positives in your life.
Rather than thinking about all of the things you must do today, begin by being grateful for the things that you have: health, a home, food, your job, etc… Beginning your day with an attitude of gratitude will contribute greatly to your PMA.
5. Create a top 5 “to do” list the night before.
Eliminate the need to overwhelm yourself in the morning by starting your day with a ready-made list of the first 5 things you will do today. Focus on getting through that list before you worry about any of the other things you must do. Allowing yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment will help you approach the remainder of your tasks with the right attitude.
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Try to incorporate some or all of these items into your routine and begin your day energized and positive.

For more great health and wellness information or to learn how we can help your business grow: follow our blog, visit our website, and connect with us on:

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References:
Friedman, N. (2005). 7 Keys To Having A Positive Mental Attitude. Business Credit, 106(7), 78.

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