Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fitness Myths and Facts - Part I

When it comes to health and fitness, we hear a lot of things from a lot of people we come across. Some will tell us from their experiences and some will tell us what they heard from others. Some of it will be true and some of it will be false. There are a lot of health and fitness myths and facts. In this part, I have busted five myths.

Myth - More Proteins helps in gaining big muscles
Fact – For hypertrophy (increase in muscle size) one has to eat all the required nutrients in their specific amounts and do weight training. An athlete would need 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per KG of body weight. Extra amounts of proteins put extra stress on kidneys and liver. Proteins when eaten in excess get converted into fats. The muscles don’t increase in size until and unless they are exercised.   

Myth - Longer workout duration causes more weight loss
Fact – To lose fat weight one has to do low intensity exercises for a longer duration up to a point. But that doesn’t mean one has to exercise for countless hours. If exercises continue beyond the point, the benefits from your workout will be reduced and it can cause overuse injuries (overtraining). An hour of workout each session is good enough to get good results.

Myth – Frequent exercising, faster the muscle grows.
Fact – This again will cause result in overtraining. One cannot gain muscles in a few days. The process of muscle growth takes place when you rest the muscle. So if you are working out the same muscles over and over again without giving them any rest, those muscles will have no time to recover and build. It usually takes around 24 to 48 hours for muscles to recover.
Myth -Fat can be transformed into muscle
Fact – Fat and lean muscles are two different tissues. Fat can never be converted into lean muscles. Many young aspiring bodybuilders/fitness enthusiasts make a mistake of putting on a lot of weight thinking they would do a so called definition workout once they become huge. But let me be very clear, in order get a defined body one has to have a lot of lean muscles. So if you are thinking about converting all that fat weight into lean muscle, just remember that won’t happen.      

Myth - More the abdominal exercises, more the fat loss in that area
Fact – People waste a lot of time doing abdominal exercises thinking they will lose fat from the abdominal region. The fact is; they are only strengthening the abdominals. The fat that is sitting on the muscles below the skin remains there forever. Like other muscles, abdominals too has to be given time to recover. Remember spot reduction is not possible. So the only way to get a flat stomach or defined abdominals is by doing a combination of aerobic/cardio training along with abdominal exercises. 

Stay Healthy!

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