Exercise myths debunked

You need to dedicate a lot of time to weight-lifting programmes

As little as one resistance training session a week can deliver priceless benefits. Zbody guides are easy to follow, meaning you can dedicate as much time as you can to weight-lifting. You don’t need any fancy equipment to gain results from weight-lifting, these programmes have been designed to benefit you at home or the gym. Resistance training can produce dramatic results in a variety of areas (become leaner and well-toned; increased strength; improved coordination, agility and balance) achieved in just two to three months.

If I’m sweating, I know I’m exercising intensely

Although perspiration can indicate a great workout, this is not always the case. You can experience heavy sweating without having much change in your heart rate. For effective exercise to occur, you need to target your heart rate. Increased heart rate is often accompanied by sweating as this is your body’s means to cool down, however, it is not an accurate measure of exercise intensity.

I can target one area and reduce fat

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction. We all have that one pesky area we have wanted to individually target at some point, however to reduce fat, you need more than just toning exercises. A thousand ab exercises a day won’t flatten a stomach that is covered in layers of fat. To decrease fat, a calorie deficit must be achieved, therefore dietary intake and consistent cardiovascular exercise play a vital role. On the other hand, if you wish to target a specific muscle group, you can achieve this through resistance training but this alone will not significantly reduce the size of the area. Another crucial factor is our genetics; for evolutionary reasons, we tend to lose fat in the extremities first and takes longer in our mid-sections. However, over time fat-loss will occur throughout the body so do not despair.

I don’t need to stretch, I’m in good shape

Daily stretching keeps our bodies flexible. When we stay flexible we enhance our lives in all sorts of ways. From the simple everyday movements such as turning your head when driving to decreasing the risk of injury, flexibility is hugely important. Always stretch after an aerobic workout. Aerobic exercise warms up the muscles and warmed muscles have more flexibility and are more comfortable to stretch. Stretching for as little as 20 seconds gives the muscles a chance to lengthen, but the longer you spend stretching the more benefits you get. Stretching (for example yoga) is also great method to ‘time out’ on a busy day – an opportunity to calm the mind and rejuvenate the soul. More is definitely better when it comes to stretching, aside from stretching on all exercise days, aim to perform stretches two to three days a week.

Lifting weights makes women bulky

Women have less than 1/30th of the testosterone levels that men have, therefore, women don’t have the testosterone to support serious muscle growth without huge numbers of calories and intense strength training workouts. People also believe the average female doesn’t need to lift heavy weight, but day-to-day activities such as carrying a full-size child and lugging shopping bags from the car can all be benefited by weight-lifting. Lifting weights is also a fantastic way for women to lose fat and to tone the body, therefore strength training can be used to achieve a variety of goals.

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