There’s a lot of information out there on the internet about how you should or shouldn’t workout. How do you tell what is fact and what is myth? We’re here to help! Today we’re outlining the top 6 fitness myths we hear on a regular basis so you can train better and be healthier and happier!
Myth #1: “The more you sweat = the more you burn.”
This is definitely false. Sweating is a physiological reaction to cool your skin and, ultimately, your internal organs. While sweating may indicate that you’re working hard and getting warm, it has no direct relation to how many calories you’re burning.
Myth #2: “You can just ‘tone’ up your muscles.”
There is no such thing as “toning” muscles. Your muscles are already in the correct shape for moving your body, and working them out more doesn’t change that shape. You can either burn fat to better show off those muscles, or increase muscle strength by weight training. When most people say they want to “tone up”, they really mean they want to decrease their body fat percentage to show of those already perfectly shaped muscles.
Myth #3: “You can target fat loss in one area of your body.”
Again, sadly false, but wouldn’t it be great if you could?! Unfortunately, spot reduction isn’t a thing, and in order to lose that pesky fat, you’ll have to increase your cardio and decrease your caloric intake. Every body is different, and depending on your body type, some areas may take longer to lose those inches than others.
Myth #4: “Lifting weights will make you bulky.”
This one is for the ladies out there. We’ve all heard the horror stories of women weight training and getting so big that they rival the men body builders out there. This simply isn’t true. While weight training does build muscle strength, most women typically don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies to bulk up to hulk-like levels. Plus, muscle burns more calories than fat, so building extra muscle mass by weight lifting can actually increase your body’s ability to burn more calories!
Myth #5: “You MUST stretch before you work out.”
You MUST warm up before you work out, but stretching is optional. In fact, stretching prior to working out can reduce the amount of power you are able to produce during training. To read more about stretching, head to our Dynamic Vs Static Stretching blog post!
Myth #6: “You can erase the food you eat with exercise.”
No matter how many calories you burn during a workout session, your body will look better and feel better if it’s been fed healthy food vs a greasy burger and fries. We’re not saying you can’t indulge every now and again, but it’s helpful to know that the biggest influence on how your body looks (roughly 80%) is based on how and what you eat, and only 20% is based on what kind of exercise you do.
Do you have any fitness tips, tricks, or myths you’d like us to cover? Comment below and let us know what you think!
We all know that stretching and maintaining flexibility is an important part of any fitness program, but do you know the difference between static and dynamic stretching? Which one is better for you? Keep on reading below to find out!
Static stretching is the standard stretch type that most of us are familiar with-holding one position to stretch a specific muscle group. This type of stretching is great for increasing overall flexibility in a specific area. Some examples of static stretching include touching your toes, the shoulder stretch, and other stretches where you hold one sustained position.
Dynamic stretching involves moving your joints through a specific range of motion, or ROM, to stretch and warm up targeted muscle groups. This type of stretching is ideal for pre-event warm ups as it gets your joints used to moving in the way you want them to. An example of dynamic stretching would be a lunge with a twist or leg swings.
But which one is THE best? Well, it depends on what your goals are and what you’re doing. For example, did you know that static stretching can reduce the amount of power a muscle can produce? Therefore, the suggested type of stretch for pre-workout would be dynamic stretching. Any well-rounded fitness program should have a combination of both dynamic and static stretching.
What do you think? Do you utilize dynamic or static stretching to increase your overall fitness and health? Which one is your favorite? Comment below!
Let us begin by saying that we definitely have the Domino’s pizza app right next to our ‘Health’ sub-folders on our phones, so, like you, we’re still figuring out how to stay healthy in a world where pizza places offer a whole free pizza if you earn enough points.
In 2016, the ‘Health and Fitness’ category in the app store ranked #9 on the most popular app categories. Even the current 2017 iOS statistics aren’t showing the health subcategory making it past the top five.
There are a lot of guesses as to why this is. Some people might have downloaded a health app and have stuck with it, others might be relying on the commitment they made to a gym they signed up for or a personal trainer they paid a lot of money for, and there are a few people who may rely on their own memory and willpower to stay healthy and eat right without a reminder from their phone. We're going to go out on a limb and say that those people are about to go on the list of endangered species, because let’s be honest: our phones rule our lives, and that includes what we put into our bodies and how we are going to burn it all off during the day.
With that in mind, here are what we believe to be the best apps to keep you healthy and happy!
#1 Water Alert
Here’s why we voted this app #1: Everyone needs to stay hydrated. This obvious fact is especially important during the hotter times of the year, but water also has many beneficial properties, including flushing out toxins, lubricating joints, and keeping our body temperature low on those hot summer days. Let us clear, there is a major difference between the water you have with your pre-workout and an 8-ounce glass of water with your meal. Things like pre-workout, amino acid powders, protein powder, etc., are good for your body and having them with water is even better but it needs to be included to your daily intake of water in it’s natural and transparent beauty. We need to be reminded how important water is and its important functions without the need of a blender bottle and some powder.
Free in iOS. Not on Android, but there are worthy substitutes.
Customize your own water goals
Customize your reminders
Apple watch friendly
Does have ads with the free version
#2 Interval Timer
We don’t know about you, but we get a lot of our workouts from websites like popsugar.com and menshealth.com, which have a great mobile-friendly way of seeing their workouts. A lot of the workouts we do require doing a specific workout in a set amount of time instead of set amount of reps. Interval Timer is nice because you can set all of your timing requirements, rest time, and the amount of sets of your workout. If you’re the type who enjoys the HIIT (highly intensive interval training), or just trying to lean up and sweat more, this app is for you.
Free on the iPhone and Android
Has ads, but minimal
Customizable and can hold a lot of different timed routines
You know the slump you get when your workout routine doesn’t really feel challenging anymore? It’s probably because your muscles are used to it. You could increase the weight or switch-up the number of reps, or you could challenge your body in a different way. SworkIt has a free and pro plan to choose from, but even the free version has a lot to offer with an impressive 170 exercises that use bodyweight, equipment, and stretching routines. The app has a very soothing voice which guides you through the routine, and the option to choose how long you want the routine to be is nice because sometimes you just want a ten minute post-workout stretch, and sometimes you want it to be longer. Its modern design is calming and non-judgemental, and the encouraging e-trainer is what keeps us coming back to it.
Free and Andriod and iOS
Apple Watch friendly
Different exercises for strength, running, yoga, etc.
#4 POPSUGAR Active
Read a testimonial on POPSUGAR Active from one of our team members below!
“Popsugar has a special place in my heart because without one of their treadmill workouts, I wouldn’t have lost 20 pounds of fat and learned my love for cardio. I’m not saying I’m doing a marathon a month or anything but I do see the benefits of cardio and weaving it into your strength training.”
This app provides a ton of different strength training workouts and a whole array of cardio workouts right on your phone. Following the mobile-friendly tables of the workouts really helps distract from the exhaustion you feel while doing them, and before you know it, it’s been 30 minutes and you’ve burned well over 300 calories. this app is all about girl power, but don’t mistake ‘girl’ for ‘easy’. You will sweat, you will feel the burn, and you will love the results.*
*We’re talking to you gym bros.
Free on iOS
No sign up
New workouts added weekly
Customize your own workout schedule
Customize workout routines
#5 My Fitness Pal
This app flew under our radar a bit because a majority of our office uses the Apple Watch, and that was doing pretty well at keeping us updated on how active we are during the day. Whether or not you have a gadget on your wrist that tracks your steps, this app lets you document everything including your meals during the day and the water you drink. If you do have FitBit or an Apple Watch, the tracker will pull gather the data from those and include that in your MFP tracker, as well. The great thing about the app is that it will take those assumed steps and calories you burned off and calculate that with your food intake to see what you have to do to maintain your fitness goals with your nutrition.