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Fitness Myths

Myths about exercise fitness and nutrition

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Updated June 10, 2014

If you've been exercising for a while, you've probably come across tons of information about exercise and fitness. You've heard the phrase 'no pain, no gain' and you've probably tried to tighten up your abs with crunches. While many fitness myths are fading fast, there are still plenty of misconceptions running around and you may be following one without knowing it.

Myth No. 1: I need exercises to work my 'lower abs' and reduce my pot belly.

First, there is no such thing as 'lower abs.' The six-pack you're going for is actually one long muscle, called the rectus abdominis, that extends from below your chest to your pelvis. To work your abs, you should do exercises to target all four muscles: the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques and the transverse abdominis.

Second, doing crunches will not help you get a 'six-pack' if you have a layer of fat over your abdominal area. In order the see the muscles, you must reduce your body fat. For more information about this and some great ab exercises, check out Flatten Your Abs.

Myth No. 2: If I'm not sore the next day, I didn't work out hard enough.

Many people use muscle soreness as a gauge of how good their workout is. However, muscle soreness is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibers and, while some soreness is expected if you regularly change your program, being sore for days after your workout most likely means you overdid it. If you're sore after every workout, you're not allowing your body time to recover , which is when you experience the most muscle growth.

To prevent soreness, you should warm up before your workout and stretch before and after. If you experience soreness, rest for a day or so and then do the same exercises that caused you to be sore in the first place, but lower the intensity.

Myth No. 3: If I can't workout often enough and hard enough, I might as well not even do it.

The general rule for weight loss is to do cardio 4-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes as well as weight training 2-3 times a week. Some people simply don't have the time to workout that much and they think, since they can't do all of that, why do ANY of it? Remember: Any exercise is better than no exercise, even if it's only a 15-minute walk. Being physically active ) is proven to reduce stress and make you healthier. So, even if you can't make it to the gym, you have no excuse not to do something active each day.

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