Five Misconceptions About Working Out Healthy Habits

Five Misconceptions About Working Out

1. Heavy weights bulk you up.

What the bulk? I hear this from women all. the. time. I’m going to say something controversial: Ladies, drop the three-pound weights and pick up something heavier! I promise you that those 5-, 8-, 10-, 15-pound weights are not going to make you big. First and foremost, we women do not produce enough testosterone for enlargement to occur. In fact, only some body types are genetically dispositioned to gain large muscle mass easily. What many people refer to as “bulky” is often adipose tissue (fat). If you clean up your diet and become leaner, you wouldn’t look in the mirror and think you had too much muscle on your shoulders, calves, or thighs. Muscle is very lean tissue, but when a layer of fat covers muscle, that is when the perception of bulky occurs.

2. I don’t need to lose weight, so I don’t need to exercise.

The whole point of working out is to simply remove that nasty flab, right? Sure, you should demand that from your workout, but that’s not the only reason you should exercise. Let’s not confuse working out to get fit with working out to lose weight. Working out to become fit means that you’re strengthening the systems of your entire body for everyday, peak performance. It’s a lot like servicing your car. And that is what your main goal should be. To quote pop star Fergie, “I’m working on my fitness.”

Once you know all the benefits of being fit, you have to be crazy not to get moving. Physical activity helps:

  • control your weight
  • strengthen bones and muscles
  • improve mental health and mood
  • reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers

3. It’s too difficult.

Behavioral change is always difficult, but the hardest part is getting started by choosing to make a change. You’ve heard of inertia. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Once you get moving, it’s like a snowball effect. You’ll start to feel and look better, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll be moved (literally) to improve your life. Pretty soon you’ll be buying a Vitamix and drinking green juice. Take it one day at a time, and try not to give in to any negative voices in your head.

4. It’s so boring.

You don’t have to sit on a bike and watch TV, or run on a treadmill and read. Do something that makes you passionate. When my college cheerleading career ended, I knew that I never wanted to do anything else to stay fit. Why? The fun factor, team factor, and mental challenge of remembering choreography. Pick up that basketball, lacrosse stick, or soccer ball and get to it. Remember after-school sports practice in high school? You weren’t doing it to be fit (it was a happy bonus); you were active and having fun. There’s no reason that should change now that you’re older.

5. It takes forever.

If you’ve changed your mindset from losing flab to getting fit (see #2), then you will see results immediately. Sure, your thighs won’t shrink several inches in one week, but your mood will brighten and your energy will spike almost immediately. Plus, getting fit doesn’t have to take a really long time if you’re exercising efficiently. There’s a great deal of new research that shows a healthy exercise regimen doesn’t mean spending hours at the gym every single day. If your workout is effective, it shouldn’t last longer than an hour, and you’ll begin to see results more quickly than you thought.

Photo courtesy of FreePeople

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