Having a healthy lifestyle can be the key to a long life; this includes eating the right foods and getting physically active as much as possible. While staying physically active is crucial for a better health, there are also some conflicting ideas, Fitness Myths and bits of advice about exercise and fitness. As a result, you may be doing some fitness routines that may actually be doing harm than good. With that said, here are some of the common fitness myths you may be doing and the surprising truth about those.

Myth #1: You can convert fat into muscle when you do weightlifting.

The truth is that you can’t convert body fat into muscle. For starters, body fat–also known as adipose tissue–surrounds the muscles and internal organs including the heart. On the other hand, muscle tissue is mostly found in our entire body.

To reduce the amount of adipose tissue in our bodies, one should incorporate a sensible diet ideally composed of whole grains, lean meat, vegetables, and healthy fats such as avocado, fish, and olive oil. Moreover, it is also important to note that weight training helps bulk up the muscle tissue, but the fatty tissue won’t turn into muscles.

Nonetheless, weightlifting is a good exercise routine if you want to build muscles regardless whether you are male or female. Speaking of which…

Myth#2: Weights are only for men.

While weight training is one great way to strengthen and develop muscles, this fitness routine should not be gender-based at all. In fact, women can also do weight training as part of their fitness routine.

On the other hand, women should not be scared to lift weights. This is because women produce less testosterone than men, which is why they won’t bulk up like male bodybuilders do.

Myth #3: Exercise is the only way to weight loss.

The truth is that exercise can aid in weight loss. However, it is not the only key in losing weight. In fact, it is wrong to think that you can compensate your excessive food consumption by sweating it out in the gym. Rather, your eating habit and diet plan plays a bigger role in weight loss than your physical activities. A sensible diet and eating plan, together with regular exercise, can do wonders in your body if you want to achieve healthy weight loss.

Myth #4: Mental games such as puzzles are the best brain workout.

The truth is that mental games such as puzzles and chess can help stimulate the brain and improve cognitive skills. However, several studies reveal that physical exercise is better for mental health – any kind of exercise that can make you sweat and increase your heart rate.

Aside from stimulating your brain, physical exercise can also help improve your mood and memory and protect you against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. As one blog post from Harvard Medical School said, physical exercise is good for both heart and brain.

Myth #5: Weight gain is mainly due to slow metabolism which is more common with age.

The truth is that according to the National Institutes of Health, our metabolism is not the main culprit that causes weight gain as we age. Rather, less activity is more likely to cause weight gain as years pass by, which makes sense because we tend to move less the more we age.

That is why it is important to adopt an active lifestyle while we are young and able. Ever heard of people running marathons in their 60’s or 70’s? That is most probably the result of their consistent active lifestyle since their younger days. Hence, it is also possible for us to achieve the same if we adopt a healthier lifestyle consistently.

Myth #6: It is considered “exercise” when you sweat.

If you want to have a good sweat, do hardcore exercises like cross-fit, spin classes, or kickboxing. However, these are not the only ones considered as “exercise”. In fact, even a 30-minute walk or lifting a heavy object – any bodily effort that requires effort – can provide mental and physical benefits.

One study revealed that people who did around 30 minutes of physical activities per day (not specifying the type of activity they did) have a lower risk of death due to any health-related problems than those who did not.

Having said that, it is not important how long you exercise, although at least 30 minutes is the recommended duration. Rather, getting off your feet and moving around instead of sitting on your desk for hours count.

Myth #7: Sports drinks are the best beverages for rehydration.

The truth is that most sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar and artificial flavorings which are obviously not good for our health. If you want to rehydrate in a healthier way, stick to plain ol’ water and real protein-rich snack.

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