Reading between the mythical lines of health and fitness

We see things. Read things. And people tell us things. But when it comes to health and fitness information, how do we tell what’s truth and what’s a myth?

In truth, it’s hard to keep up with the endless flow of information that is constantly being shared. Not to mention one day eggs will kills you and cause all kinds of high cholesterol and the next they are the best super food and you should eat them every day.

In an effort to help us all, we’ve shared some common health myths throughout today to bring light to these false truths you may or may not have heard.

Now I’m no doctor, health professional or otherwise. So these answers have been pulled from various reputable sources to help us bust the myths we are so often lead to believe.

Myth. I can spot reduce fat on my body. Goodbye love handles. “I am sorry, but spot reduction does not work,” says Wiedenbach. It all comes down to that pesky layer of fat obscuring those perfectly toned muscles. No matter how many crunches they do, someone with 20% body fat will never have abs like someone with 8% body fat, he says. To lose weight quickly, you’ll need to burn as much fuel as you can with intense exercises like squats, dips, pull downs, dead lifts and shoulder presses while following a strict diet.

Myth. Want to see results? You’ve got to workout every day. Rest should be part of your workout, not an alternative to your workout, says Barbara Bushman, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University.

Myth. Sweating means you’re out of shape. “It sounds counterintuitive, but the fitter you are, the sooner your body begins to sweat, so a person who’s in extremely good shape will produce more sweat than somebody who isn’t,” says Beth Stover, M.S., C.S.C.S., a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Barrington, Illinois. “With each workout, you become a more and more efficient sweating machine.”

Myth. You can eat whatever you want as long as you workout. Working out on a regular basis has many health benefits, but it can’t erase the overwhelmingly harmful effects of unhealthy foods. The most dangerous are trans fats (aka hydrogenated oils), which are found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Trans fats increase the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, plus they contribute to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Steer clear of margarine, chips, crackers, baked goods and most fast foods.

Myth. Cardio. Cardio. Cardio. Lifting weights will make you look like a man. Lifting weights can actually slim you down. Women who lift a challenging weight for eight reps burn nearly twice as many calories as women who do 15 reps with lighter dumbbells, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Myth. ALL protein all the time. Cut the carbs and don’t ever eat bread. If you want to gain muscle, you’re going to need carbs. If you take them out completely, you’ll burn more body fat during training perhaps, but you can’t keep it up for long. Carbs are fuel for intense workouts, fats are not. Choose a macro plan that suits your athletic goals. If you’re an athlete, you’re going to need more than protein to make it through a game.

On a more serious note, you need a minimum amount of carbs to ensure that your brain functions properly. The brain needs glucose to work. Your body can be ketonic and use fatty acids to fuel your muscles, but your brain can’t.

Myth. No pain no gain. Working out is supposed to hurt while you’re doing it. Of all the fitness rumors ever to have surfaced, experts agree that the “no pain-no gain” holds the most potential for harm.

While you should expect to have some degree of soreness a day or two after working out, Schlifstein says, that’s very different from feeling pain while you are working out.

“A fitness activity should not hurt while you are doing it, and if it does, then either you are doing it wrong, or you already have an injury,” he says.

As for “working through the pain,” experts don’t advise it. They say that if it hurts, stop, rest, and see if the pain goes away. If it doesn’t go away, or if it begins again or increases after you start to work out, Schlifstein says, see a doctor.

That’s a wrap.

And there is more where all this comes from. Unfortunately the myths and misinformation, continue to flood our sources. So just like we preach when combatting misinformation in the industry we love (farming for those of you paying attention) do your homework. Check your sources and speak up when someone’s info is not on point. Nicely of course!

Health is a connection point for all of us as women, but in our passions and work in agriculture. We too have a link to what people are nourishing and fuelling their bodies with. Let’s continue to support each other in all areas of health, food and wellness.

Back to the myths. What others myths do you continue to hear?

 

Written by: Kristen Kelderman
@KeldermanK88

 

Sources (not APA or MLA or whatever they’re using these days!)

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/top-9-fitness-myths-busted#4

http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fit/lose-weight/myth-exercise-vs-bad-eating-habits

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2012/01/12/common-fitness-myths-health-well-being-lose-weight/2/#446e2d6510a1

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/fitness-myths/slide/11

 

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