Breaking down fitness myths

Looking for fitness advice on the web Download the Camping Club? It seems that everybody calls themselves an expert – just log onto YouTube and you’ll be bombarded with clips of people claiming to have found the perfect way to shed the kilos and turn you into a world-class athlete!

Short answer: a lot of the advice hasn’t been tested and could actually be very dangerous to your health. So, let’s see if we can bust a few myths.

1. Massage will speed up muscle recovery after a workout: During an intense workout, you break down your muscle tissue and it’s believed that a massage will restore blood flow and speed up your muscle recovery.

Well, according to scientific findings, a professional massage on exhausted muscles actually reduces the blood flow! And who needs that? No-one.

2. I’ve been doing sit-ups, where’s my six-pack? You’ve probably been told that as long as you keep doing sit-ups, you’ll eventually get that 6-pack you’ve always wanted, right? WRONG!

Sit-ups may help strengthen your core, but as far as that elusive 6-pack goes, it all depends on your body fat percentage! Have yours checked by a health professional.

3. Swimming will burn all my body fat. Swimming is a great activity to help you tone your muscles because you use your entire body weight as resistance – but, many believe that swimming alone will melt away their body fat. Again: not true.

The reason is simple – the resistance of the water supports your body and makes it easier = less work = less calories burned. But don’t stop swimming, just add some extra regular exercise on dry land.

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4. I feel great! I can’t be over-training, can I? We’ve all done it before. When we start (or re-start) an exercise plan, we tend to overdo it. Just because you don’t feel any symptoms, don’t think you can’t be overtraining – NOT TRUE!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re lifting weights or doing cardio for long periods of time, your muscles become fatigued. If you don’t take enough time to allow your muscles to recover, you’re risking the chance of causing an injury.

Rather, focus on interval training – this is when you mix up your strength and cardio, training for shorter periods of time.

Sources: Outside Online; WebMD