Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fitness Myths

Crunches Flatten the Stomach
Myth - Your body and its genetic code decide where and when to store fat.  There are no exercises to reduce fat in any specific area of the body, only exercises to build and tone muscle. 
The best way to get a flat stomach is to burn calories through cardio exercise, which burns calories and in turn reduces body fat overall.  Crunches will tone areas, but won't reduce the fat there on their own.
If the majority of your fat is in your stomach area, you'll notice a difference.  Crunches do burn calories, so if you were to perform many of them on a daily basis, it could contribute to weight loss.  However, cardio will get the job done more effectively.
Muscle Can Turn to Fat
Myth - Muscle doesn't turn into fat and fat doesn't turn into muscle.  They are two different types of cells.  What actually can happen, is when someone stops working out, he or she is rapidly losing muscle and gaining fat.  Many people who do this do not cut down on their calorie intake, causing a quick gain in fat since they are no longer burning these extra calories through exercise. 
Stretch Before Exercise to Prevent Injuring Yourself
Myth - Research has changed over the years indicating that this is not so.  Individuals who have been injured are more prone to re-injury.  However, you need to warm these muscles up in order to prep them for a good stretch in the first palce.  Nothing too intense - start off slow, giving yourself a three to five minute warm-up, then stretch.  Stretching is mostly effective after a workout when these muscles are nice and elastic.  Stretching now will be helpful in maintaining flexibility and in turn, avoiding injury.


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