Weekly Wellness: Common workout myths
COLUMBIA - As a trainer, I am asked about common workout myths all the time. This week, let’s see if we can clear up a few misconceptions.
Myth #1: Strength training will make you bulk up.
Truth: This question is generally asked by women. Some women believe that if they lift heavy weights, they are going to get “guy muscles.” Unless a woman has an unusually high level of testosterone in her system, it’s going to be hard for a woman to bulk up. The truth is that strength training (lifting heavy stuff) can help a woman get lean. The more lean muscle mass a person has, the more calories their body burns (even at rest).
Myth #2: You can focus on losing fat from certain body parts.
Truth: Unfortunately, spot-training doesn’t really work. To lose fat in a specific area, you need to target your overall body. Programs that include High-intensity interval training and strength training will help.
Myth #3: Doing lots of cardio is the best way to lose weight.
Truth: If you’re trying to lose weight, cardio will certainly help to burn calories. But the best strategy will be to add strength training. And don’t forget about your nutrition.
Myth #4: Not feeling sore means you didn't get a good workout.
Truth: Sometimes you’ll be sore from a workout and sometimes you won’t. That doesn’t mean your workout wasn’t good. And with proper recover, refueling, hydration and sleep, you can minimize soreness.
Myth #5: You should give 100 percent effort during every workout.
Truth: This is a tough one… let’s break it down. While you should always try to be focused and present and give your best, not every workout session should be crazy. Also, pay attention to your body. If you are feeling sore every day, you might be experiencing over-training and need to take a break.
Myth #6: Strength training means using machines and heavy weights.
Truth: Strength training can be accomplished with resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls and your own bodyweight.
Myth #7: Sweating a ton means you worked.
Truth: Some people sweat more than others. Some people are affected by the environmental temperature and the humidity levels in the air. As your core temperature increases, you are creating heat. The evaporation of your sweat is your body’s cooling system.
Myth #8: Crunches are a great exercise for your abs.
Truth: Crunches aren’t the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. Abs are designed to work most effectively when standing upright. There are lots of great ab exercises to perform from a standing position that are better than crunches. Oh, and don’t forget about planks!
Myth #9: You have to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to make it worth your while.
Truth: Trends in classes and workouts have been changing over the past few years with the introduction of high-intensity interval training, Tabata training and other short-burst programming. If you’re pushing your intensity, you can get a greater workout in a shorter amount of time.
Myth #10: You need to stretch before a workout.
Truth: Better than old-school stretching to prepare for a workout, is dynamic warm-ups and foam rolling. The goal is to get your muscles warm and mobile.
Myth #11: Yoga isn't a "real" workout.
Truth: Sure, there are some easy, gentle yoga classes… but there are also some butt-kicking ones. If you need a challenge, ask the yoga studio or fitness center for the classes and instructors that are the tougher ones. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Myth #12: You should work out every day.
Truth: Nope. When you work out, you are breaking down muscle fibers and so they need time to recover. Your goal should be 2 – 3 days of strength training each week and you can perform cardio workouts 5 – 6 times per week. You can perform active recovery (gentle stretching or a walk) a couple times a week as long as you give yourself at least one or two rest days.
Segment 4: Does Your Skincare Routine Need an Upgrade?
Air date: 7/30/18
I’m sure you won’t find it surprising that, as we age, our skin (and what it needs) changes. It seems like everything about the aging process changes, right? What our bodies and skin responded to in our twenties and thirties just don’t cut it in our forties, fifties, sixties and beyond.
While skin care might seem like a “lady” issue, men need to think about it too. Our skin is a living, breathing thing that needs to be cared for. From cleansing to protecting, we need to create a routine that will work well for us and for the largest organ of our system.
Cleansing: a lot of people are using those micellar water products and thinking that that’s all they need to do. If you wear make-up, that’s only step one. After using the micellar water, you would want to use a secondary (more traditional) cleanser to ensure that you have removed all pollutants and debris that has built up on your skin over the course of the day.
Using serums: look for a serum that is antioxidant. An antioxidant serum will help to counteract damaging free radicals. Look for a serum that has vitamin C. Also, please apply your serum before your moisturizer and sunscreen because the serum can dilute the strength of the SPF.
Sun protection: there are many products that are combination: a moisturizer that contains SPF. This is great if you’re just going to the office. However, if you are planning on being outside for any extended period of time, you need to use a dedicated sunscreen. And make sure you apply it to your face AND neck AND ears AND décolletage.
Exfoliating: exfoliating is important (especially in your mid-20s) because your skin cell turnover starts to slow down around the age of 25. Exfoliating twice a week can help with overall skin health.
Eye creams: eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area – so use them there. Some contain caffeine (to decrease puffiness). There are eye creams that target dark circles too (which is helpful for those of us who get up super-early).
Retinoids: retinoids are a derivative of vitamin A that help to increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. Retinoids are a great product to incorporate into your nighttime routine. They prevent wrinkles, unclog pores and help with hyperpigmentation.
Moisturizing: we know the importance of moisturizing our skin but did you know that you may want to use a different moisturizer during the day than at night? Using a richer night cream at night can be helpful (especially as we age). The older we get, the harder it is for our skin to hold onto moisture.
Take a look at your skincare routine and see if you can make any improvements to extend the life and look of your most visible organ!