Fitness myths: A little bit of debunking

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I'll never forget the feeling of crossing the finish line of my first half marathon. I was exhausted. Every muscle in my lower body was screaming. My joints were crying out in pain. But I felt so incredibly accomplished. In a little over two hours, I had run 13.1 amazing miles, and I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to see my parents. I couldn't wait to call Dan (who, at the time, I hadn't even met yet!). And I really couldn't wait to EAT. Everything. All the food I could get my hands on. 

And I will never forget the moment I looked down at my Body Bug (something I used religiously at the time) and saw that I had burned less than 1,000 calories. Say WHAT?! I had run for HOURS! I was planning to eat my body weight in a calorific ice cream sundae. All of that pushing myself had burned me 988 calories. This was still an amazing feat, but it felt like I should have burned 10,000 calories for what I'd just put my body through! 

So occasionally when I see a "Burn 1,000 calories workout" pop up on Pinterest. I cringe a little bit. Because my fear is that someone will look at it, think it actually burns 1,000 calories, complete it, and then eat a giant amount of calories since they think they've burned that much. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I assure you, these workouts aren't burning you anywhere NEAR that much. 

How to burn 1,000 calories
It would be INCREDIBLE if this workout actually burned 1,000 calories, but it's just not reality. It might be a good workout, and it certainly would burn calories, but probably not 1,000. This myth gets perpetuated repeatedly. And that got me thinking about all the other fitness myths out there. 

Targeting fat burn is easy.
Negative. While you can certainly attempt to train certain areas, it's not going to work unless you're burning calories overall and eating right. So, while people may wish for thinner thighs or tighter abs, trying to spot treat just those areas isn't going to cut it. 

Lifting heavy weights will bulk you up.
I've had a couple of people tell me in the past that they're hesitant to go up in the size of free weights they use because they don't want to bulk up. I assure you, raising your free weights a pound or three is NOT going to turn you in to a competition body builder! Push yourself to become stronger and lift a little more! 

Eating vegetarian or vegan is healthiest. 
This is only true if you eat a healthy diet. Do you KNOW what kinds of foods are vegan? Oreos. Sour Patch Kids. Red Bull. Fritos. Pringles. Famous Amos cookies. Town House Crackers. They're vegan! That could be a vegan diet! It's not healthy in the slightest. You have to make good choices to have a healthy diet no matter what type of diet you eat. 

What it boils down to is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If it seems like a ridiculous reality, it probably is. Do your research. Debunk the myths. And do what's best for you! 


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