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5 Fitness Myths Busted!

photo credit: Caitlin Mitchell

 

Happy April Fool’s Day! It’s Bianca Jade of Mizzfit.com here on lucy’s beautiful blog revealing fitness truths. The rest of the world is going to try and play you for a fool today but when it comes to fitness, I won’t let you fall down that rabbit hole!  Here are my favorite fitness myths – busted!

1. Yoga doesn’t burn calories.

As a yogi of 12+ years,  I can 100% tell you that this isn’t true. I’ve taken yoga classes that are much harder than HIIT classes or kickboxing classes that burn up to 700 calories. Yoga, just like all fitness disciplines, comes in many forms and levels of intensity. Sure, there are restorative yoga classes that are more focused on relaxed stretching and less on rigorous movement. But that doesn’t represent ALL yoga, it’s simply one kind of yoga that happens to be a low calorie-burner.

If people tell you that yoga doesn’t burn calories, send them to I.AM.YOU. Studio or to CrossFlowX class at The Movement in New York City. Not only will you experience the toughest, sweat-dripping workout of your life, but you’ll burn around 500 calories in a 1 hour to 90-minute session.

You’ll find intense yoga classes like these, offered across the country (even in good ol’ Missouri at YogaSix) and usually labeled with the words like “power”, “cardio” or “sculpt”, to contradict to notion that yoga is not much of an aerobic activity. Bullocks!

Your calorie burn simply depends on what kind of yoga you choose to do, and under what temperatures. Hot power yoga sessions where the studio room temperature is turned up to degrees can top the calorie burn charts at 700+ calories!

photo credit: Caitlin Mitchell

 

2. It’s better to stretch before your workout than after.

Wrong! The ideal time to stretch (unless you’re doing wimpy stretches) is once your body is warmed up and loosened up, which is always during or after your workout. Joint flexibility is increased when your body is warm and has experienced considerable motion. You’re also more likely to avoid injury by stretching post-workout.

It helps to think of your muscles and ligaments like spaghetti. Before you begin your workout, they’re stiff and hard because the water in the pot has yes to boil. Once you get going and reach that boiling point, the noodles get soft and flexible, finding movement within the water and flowing with each other. They’re not brittle anymore when they’re warmed up. This visualization has saved me time and time again. I hope it works for you!

3. Treadmills are better for your feet than running outside.

Newsflash! When human beings were put on this earth there were no treadmills in sight. There was just the earth beneath our feet. Humans were designed to walk and navigate it just like any other animal.

There’s something incredibly special about running outside on grass, dirt, rocks, sand and pavement, and that attribute is VARIATION (a feature treadmills don’t have). It’s why personally I’m a huge fan of trail running. Terrain changes and weather factors like wind can propel your run as well as create resistance that naturally motivates you to work harder, challenges your balance and coordination, and conditions your muscles and joints in a way that treadmills run flat.

Natural surfaces are known to be healthier on your feet, especially your toes, which were made to grip uneven landscapes. It’s the reason serious athletes train outside and at extreme altitudes. It makes their bodies stronger and more competitive. What’s good for your feet can elevate the rest of your body.

However, this is not to say that treadmills aren’t at times safer. Treadmills become an amazing training tool for runners when weather conditions are less than favorable. They’re definitely much safer when it’s too dark, rainy, icy or slick outside to run. Also, many people have joints issues where a treadmill becomes a godsend, offering more give without the harsh impact of pavement.

If you can do it, running outdoors IS super healthy, and definitely not worse than running on a treadmill. It’s much more functional for daily activities, you’ll get fresh air and more scenery, more challenge, and you’ll probably expend more calories too. Your feet will get a new workout each time you head outside, which combats the drawbacks of muscle memory .

photo credit: Caitlin Mitchell

 

4. You need to have long legs to be a good runner.

I love this one since I happen to be short and a damn good runner. The mistake is in the thinking that people with short legs don’t have a long stride which in turn doesn’t make them a powerful or competitive runner. Here’s the deal: bigger is not always better! The rules of physics actually say that for some sports like distance running, smaller is king! This article goes into great detail about it but I will try to sum it up quickly for you 

Yes, taller people can cover more distance with their crazy daddy-long-legs (can you tell I’m a little jealous?) BUT that won’t determine their speed, agility or overall performance. As the article I mentioned says, “The more you weigh, the harder you have to work to lift your body and the slower you will be.” Also, for taller/bigger people, it takes longer for the body to cool down, which can impede speed and performance.

I’m a fan of Rosa Mota, who at a whopping 5’2” (my height!), became Portugal’s first female Olympic gold medal winner. Watch her dominate! I think that’s enough proof this myth is bogus.

5. You can work out at your desk.

Sure, you can “work out” at your desk…in la la land! Countless articles online and in magazines will lead you to believe you can accomplish a workout at your desk without even getting out of your chair. But unless you’re breaking a sweat and really pushing yourself to the point of losing your breath (like I’m talking 10 sets of dips with your legs elevated on your desk kind of moves), it isn’t really an effective workout.

In fact, recent research studies show that the more sitting you do, the less living you’re gonna do. Yeah…meaning unless you get your butt outta that desk chair, your life expectancy is reduced by many health risks associated with sitting for long periods of time, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes (more on that here).

So next time you think of doing the “5-minute Desk Workout”, think again! The real “work” happens when you hit the ground (or gym) running.

Remember, you’re nobody’s fool! These myths are just chump change. You’re a DO-er. In my opinion, people who spew out myths are just too lazy or scared to put in the work.  Congratulations for taking the hardest step, and doing it in lucy style!




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