As some of you might already know, I am getting married this summer (check out our Wedding section!), which means my fitness regimen has been kicked into full gear now that spring has sprung. With so many fitness myths floating around out there I thought it would be helpful to review some of the most popular beliefs and debunk them for you today with the help of health and fitness expert Katrina of Tone It Up (one of my favorite new health and fitness websites)! Here it goes…
- Lifting weights will make you bulky. False! Believe it or not, weight lifting is extremely important for fat loss. According to Katrina, building muscle helps your body to burn fat throughout the day because your body needs to use up more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. Basically the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will naturally burn.
- The morning is the best time to train. False! While a sunrise workout might help to clear your head before the day starts, Katrina says that the time of day that you choose to sweat it out doesn’t necessarily matter. She said that the most important thing to consider when deciding on a time for your workout is making sure you can stick to it and that it works for YOU. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, just make sure you block out a time that fits into your daily routine. That way, you can make exercising a habit. Katrina stressed that the most important part is being “consistent” and making your workout a priority. One of my favorite ways to stick to my weekly workout routine is to pencil it into my planner at the beginning of the week and check off each workout once it has been completeled. Not only does it feel great to look back on a week with 5 ot 6 successfully checked boxes (sometimes it’s 3 or 4), but I actually feel better too since working out reduces stress!
- Running is the only way to lose weight. False! Running is just one form of cardio that can do a body good…there are so many other ways to burn calories and build muscle! If you can get your heart pumping, get your muscles working, and fuel your body with healthy food, Katrina advises that you should start to see pounds melt away. Mix things up by trying a spin class, going on a hike, or swimming laps at your local rec club. Even taking a brisk walk on your lunch break each day will get you on track towards becoming leaner. Take a peek at the TIU Fitness section for more exercise ideas and be sure to check out Lauren’s favorite workouts in the Get Fit section, too.
- It’s best to workout on an empty stomach. Both! Katrina says “this is a broad statement” since there are a lot of factors to consider. “There has to be balance,” she says adding that when you eat and workout depends on your goals. “If your goal is to perform in a race, train for a marathon or for a sport, then you need to have adequate amounts of calories and electrolytes in your body to train hard. If your goal is to lose weight, then you will want to have enough calories and electrolytes in you to kick some serious booty, but you don’t need a big pasta dinner the night before and a bagel before your run. Ultimately, you don’t want your meal to weigh you down or upset your stomach before a workout so we recommend carbohydrates in fruit or grains before a workout and protein and carbohydrates after to help you recover.” According to Katrina, one of the best things you can do is something she and her Tone It Up partner like to call The Booty Call. A Booty Call is basically waking up and doing some type of cardio for 30-minutes (or less) and having some coffee and half a banana or 8 ounces of coconut water. This is a great way to wake up your metabolism and get your body going! For more nutrition tips, head on over to Tone It Up for the complete lowdown.
- Eating zero carbs will make you lean. False! One of the most interesting things I learned from Katrina was that “fat actually burns in a carbohydrate flame.” Our society has given carbs a really bad rap lately, and it’s just not fair. What it comes down to is that not all carbs are bad for you. Katrina and her training partner, Karena, say that fueling up on complex carbs (which come from the fibers in grains, legumes and root vegetables) is the right way to carb load. Your body needs some carbohydrates to function, so just make sure you’re choosing them wisely… Think overnight oats, baked potatoes and roasted carrots. Check out Katrina and Karena’s post on nutrition for more of their expert tips.
One of the most important points Katrina told me about these myths is remembering that “nutrition and training is all about figuring out what works for you!”
Are you guilty of believing any of these fitness myths?