Tag Archives: Exercise myth

The Big Fat Lie in Fitness

I’m going out on a limb here, people…but I’m willing to do it for my readers. Yes, that would be you. There are plenty of fitness folks, pros and enthusiasts alike, who will disagree with this statement because it completely counters their marketing efforts and maybe even their lifestyles. But I’m doing it anyway because…well…I suppose because I’m finally sick of the phony, inflated, trying-to-get-your-money and, most importantly, FALSE claims out there.

In my professional opinion, what is the biggest, fattest lie being passed around in the fitness industry?

 

 

Answer: That working out EVERY DAY is the only way to be successful and see results.

Insert mega eye-roll from yours truly. 

This kills me. Clearly. Or else I wouldn’t be writing about it.

I hope this brings you a sigh of relief because honestly, YOU. DO. NOT. HAVE. TO. WORK. OUT. EVERY. DAY.

The best fitness professionals and athletes out there take days off. They have active recovery days of stretching or light movements. They take time-outs for massage, therapy and R&R. Why? Because it’s hugely important. I’ve elaborated on the importance of recovery one too many times already but if you’re thirsty for more reasons to enjoy tea time instead of treadmill time then you can read one of these articles…

When You Are Tired (of being tired)

Don’t You Deserve a Break?

Frenemies: Exercise Myths We Hold Onto

Recovery Time is Forgotten

Back to the point…the claims that you need to relentlessly work out to see results are plastered all over Pinterest and Instagram. “Fitspirational” messages assault people from bloggers, Twitter and Facebook, too. Unfortunately, I think we’ve all become a little numb to well-intended messages that sting our open wounds again and again.

Let’s take the following examples that make my skin itch…

WHHHAATTT??? The “Keep Calm and Move On” people are pestering us to work out every day, too?! *Gulp.* Whhhhhyyyyy? Maybe it’s just me, but there is nothing, nothing, nothing “calming” about this message. How are we supposed to stay calm when we’re being told by society that we’ve gotta get our adrenaline pumping every 24 hours? Geesh. Just in case this message speaks to you, don’t worry – you can buy sweatshirt, coffee mug and candle-adorned paraphernalia bearing the reminder. Because a soothing candlelit dinner with “WORKOUT EVERYDAY” staring you down sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? 

Okay. Enough. I actually really like most of the “Keep Calm” messaging, so I don’t want to drag them through the mud too much on this one. Maybe I’ll forgive them. Maybe.

On to the next glorious image. This one is reminiscent of a lot of generic Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter posts. Take a good hard look…

Okay…let’s spin this a little. I want to ask you the following question: “Is every day a good day to work out?”

Are you thinking about your answer???

If you’re still debating the answer then STOP!

Correct response: NO!

No, not every day is a good day to work out.

I mean…we get sick sometimes, don’t we? We all occasionally experience nasty shin splints, twisted ankles, broken bones, deflated energy, dry spells of motivation, and unexpected obstacles. I will argue, quite strongly, that these are all times when working out is put on the back burner, at least for a few days. And that’s FINE.

These are two simple examples hand-picked from the flood of “fitspiration” quotes out there that mean well but wear people down more often than they build people up.

The bar is set far too high by messages like this. People come to me all the time, totally intimidated to start an exercise program because unless they can commit to it every day, they feel like they’re not giving enough. This is SO upsetting to me. Seriously guys, this is the stuff I cry to my husband over.

Again, I’m here to set the record straight…

If exercising every day is something you WANT to do and have TIME to do, then great! But, be wary. Our central nervous systems can easily become overrun by relentless programs and our hormones can get thrown way out of whack from over-training.

Plus, once again, be encouraged because…

You DON’T have to exercise every day to see GREAT results.

*Official end of rant.*

 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

 

 

*Image Sources: 

http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-workout-everyday-3/

http://www.coupons.com/thegoodstuff/6-ways-to-create-good-habits/

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Frenemies; Exercise Myths That We Hold Onto

From years of training people in the gym, I’ve found that a woman’s devotion to myths about healthy living often becomes her greatest obstacle. Some women may even cling to exercise myths, fearing to test their falsity. I will call this behavior “cray cray” because in truth, these perceptions behave like frenemies. They appear well-intentioned but in reality, they are bent on deceiving you. I said “cray cray” and frenemies in the same sentence…now you know this will be an “interesting” read, haha. So here it goes… 

What's your excuse

Myth #1: “I don’t have time to exercise.”

This is actually the number one excuse for why people say they don’t exercise. Time is not something that multiplies itself. If only, right?! I’m pretty sure we can all say that we’ve used this excuse at one time or another. In fact, my grandmother said it perfectly once….

Grandma: “I hear you haven’t been using your new exercise equipment very much.”

Dad: “Yea, last month got really busy with the business.”

Grandma: “Well, what about this month?”

Dad (with a little uncomfortable chuckle): “This month? We were out of town the first two weekends and last weekend…well, I guess last weekend I was just catching up on some things around the house.”

*Pause*

Grandma: “You know what I hear?”

Dad: “What’s that?”

Grandma: “All I hear are excuses, excuses, excuses!”

‘Nuff said, Grandma! Amen!

If only I had the courage to be as straight-shooting as my Grandma! Love her. I’m sure a few clients would have walked right out the door! Haha. Seriously though, how often do you keep piling excuse upon excuse? The average American watches 5 hours of TV a day and, according to a report from Nielson,

“The average American then spends another 32 minutes a day on time-shifted television, an hour using the Internet on a computer, an hour and seven minutes on a smartphone and two hours, 46 minutes listening to the radio.” 

Ponder the amount of screen time you get on a daily basis and tell me honestly that there isn’t a day or two in the week when you can give it up and enjoy some fresh air (or even stinky, body odor air at the gym…compelling, right?).

Life won't stop

Myth #2: “I have to be in better shape before I go into the gym.” This is something that people think but rarely say out loud.

I have seen this time and time again….and it drives fitness professionals nuts. People will be afraid to come into the gym because they think it’s a place where everyone will be staring at them agape if they’re not trim and toned. Perhaps there are a few snobbish facilities in the world; however, the vast majority of gyms actually exist….get this…to help you! Yes, there will always “that person” trying to show off their six-pack but doesn’t she look just as egotistical as she does impressive? Not to mention most other people are too concerned about how they personally look to notice. And yes, there will always be a few vain trainers who are just interested in lifting weights as often as possible, and staring at themselves in full-length mirrors all day long, but they are in the minority. Whew. Most trainers have solid intentions and genuinely want to help you. Yes, YOU! It takes a lot to “make it” financially as a trainer, and professionals understand this going into the industry, so believe me when I say that these are kind, people-oriented individuals with an interest in serving others.  

Now, before you get scared and say that you don’t wantdon’t need, or can’t afford a trainer (ahem, “excuses, excuses, excuses”), allow me to say that you can approach trainers without having to pay them for a session. Most gyms actually have a trainer walking around the gym during peak hours to assist members. If not, there is likely still a trainer hovering around in between clients. If a trainer is not presently with a client then feel free to approach him/her and ask ANYTHING!

WW Trainer 1

Why not take a few minutes of a professional’s time? They will be glad to give you a pointer. It’s also in their interest to show you good customer service and share their knowledge. At the end of the day, if you DO decide to purchase a session or two, you might consider reaching out to them first. They know this and thus, will put on a smile!

With regards to the energetic professionals teaching group classes:

Unless you know that a group exercise instructor is also a trainer or health professional, be wary of asking them too many questions outside of the scope of their class format. The advice may be more opinion than anything else. It very much depends person-to-person. If the required knowledge is out of their scope then feel free to ask them if they can introduce you to another fitness employee who works full-time in the field.

All this to say, come to the gym when you’re desperate, have put on weight, feel blue, and want to hide in your closet. It will make you feel better because there are normal people, just like you, there too.

Myth #3: “If I can’t workout a lot then it’s a waste to workout at all.”

You may be in denial at having thought this before but chances are that over 50% of the women reading this blog post have felt that it’s simply too overwhelming to begin a workout program because they think that being in a good routine means exercising every day. Although it’s true that establishing a daily routine can help with exercise adherence, it’s not easy to go from never working out to working out every day.

Believe it or not, you can actually gain health benefits from working out only once a week. Yes, it’s true! You will not become a power lifter or a marathon runner from this routine; however, over time, you will make your nervous system sharper. In plain language, your muscles will better know what to do when it comes to external stimuli which correspond or relate to the task of the exercise you performed. For example, if you’re doing squats and lunges once a week then your body may be more flexible and less prone to injury when lunging across your living room to catch a puppy who just ran away with your socks. Am I the only one who has this problem on a regular basis?! Another example: If you do shoulder press regularly then you will be more capable of lifting a heavy box onto a high shelf or reaching overhead without straining your back or neck.

The first 4-6 weeks of any brand new routine are largely about how the body’s nervous system is responding and adapting. These adaptations happen first before major strength gains. Think of it like a baby learning how to move its legs before crawling or walking. Your body has to learn before it will perform. The more you commit to working out a little bit, the more prepared you will be to ramp up your routine before an important event like a wedding, anniversary, or road race, without getting injured or intimidated.

Please do not let perfectionism or fear get in the way of exercising. Whatever energy you can put in will be better than nothing. There are MANY benefits from ANY exercise. Period.

WW Start believing

Note: To help you plan your routine and make it past February, the following articles will be published soon:

The Nitty Gritty; Secrets that exercise professionals know that you should too.

Let’s HIIT it; What high-intensity training is and how it can help save you time in the gym

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

wellnesswinz logo 2

 

References:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-american-watches-5-hours-tv-day-article-1.1711954

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervous_system