If you haven’t noticed, half of the year is already up. Hopefully, by now most people have made impressive progress on their New Year’s resolutions, which usually means losing weight, eating better or hitting the gym regularly. But even for those who haven’t, there is still time to make some gym gains and maybe arrive at the beach or any summertime venue in better shape than imagined. But before hopping on the treadmill or pumping some iron, here is a short list of gym myths to consider getting the most out of the workout experience.
Pre-workout supplements are one of the most used products for gym goers looking for that boost of energy to drive through their routines. Unfortunately, many have not been approved by the FDA or lack enough research to conclude if they’ll improve performance. There just may be a simpler alternative in the form of that standard cup of coffee. In fact, Healthline states that coffee is the most natural performance enhancer. As with many things, the more coffee consumed or pre-workout supplements taken, the more tolerance the body has to both. Regardless, consider a cup of coffee before taking a scoop of pre-workout.
A quick stretch before a workout can be very beneficial. It is also pretty common. Stretching often helps increase flexibility and mobility in the muscles. Many believe that it can also help prevent any injuries, especially before an intense workout. That’s where the myth comes in. There is no evidence that stretching prevents injuries. Additionally, Harvard Health mentions that stretching without a proper warmup can even lead to injuries. It might be better to warm up through a simple jog or jumping jacks. It’s probably better to limit any follow up stretches to dynamic stretches, such as squats, leg kicks, lunges, and body twists.
Think running on the treadmill is equal to running outside? Think again. Yes, both are great cardio workouts and, of course, involve running. But each activates different lower body muscle groups. Running outside, for example, activates more muscles due to weather conditions, road and sidewalk conditions, dodging people, debris and more. The plus side of treadmill running is that it is easier to control pace and improve one’s speed over time. Treadmills may offer additional motivation thanks to their timers and map screens that display how fast or slow the runner is going.
It’s a regular pattern. Someone goes to the gym, has a great workout and then eats something to help with recovery and to supplement the body. It kind of goes hand in hand—exercise and dieting—for anyone looking to lose weight or even gain pounds. The big myth is in this thinking that going to the gym is more important than a nutrition plan. The 80/20 rule should come to mind. It means that 80 percent of a dieter’s focus should be geared toward a solid meal plan based on their fitness goals. More protein and calories for weight gain and reduced or nutritional meals for weight loss.
Being on the Grind
Once on a gym routine, some never want to stop. That’s a mistake. Going full tilt at the gym may be great in the moment, but in the long run it can cause a lot of wear and tear on the body. Rest days are essential. Ironically, not going to the gym is also great for the body. MedicalNewsToday lists different signs that indicate that a rest day is needed. All of which include persistent muscle pain or soreness, feeling sluggish following a workout, mood swings and more.
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