Fitness Myths: Setting the Record Straight

Now that we know sit ups won’t melt away body fat and building muscle doesn’t necessarily translate into a speedier metabolism, let’s debunk a few more popular fitness myths:

Myth: Lifting Weights Makes You Look Bulky

If you are a woman, who is concerned that lifting weights is going to make you look like Popeye, you can stop worrying. According to experts, women can’t develop muscles like men. However, if you are still not convinced, then workout with lighter weights, or complete exercises that use your own bodyweight for resistance. Bottom line: The average woman doesn’t produce enough testosterone to build significant bulk.

Myth: Stretching Prevents Injury

While there are few fitness experts who don’t advise pre and post workout stretching, there’s no conclusive research, which shows that stretching before or after your workout will keep you from injuring a hamstring or other muscle. However, studies show that stretching does increase your range of motion, which makes certain activities easier to complete. If you are really trying to avoid sports-related injuries, experts recommend doing a gradual warm-up that includes some cardio activity.

Myth: Muscle Turns to Fat When You Stop Working Out

Contrary to popular belief muscle never turns into fat. However, if you were ripped and suddenly stopped working out, your muscles will lose tone after 4 to 8 weeks. If you want to keep your toned physique without hitting the gym as much, then increase your cardio activity (walk more, take the stairs, etc.) and decrease the number of calories you consume. According to experts, muscle and fat are different types of tissue, and one can’t morph into the other. In most cases when you stop exercising you put on fat and your unused muscles start to atrophy, so they are not as firm as they once were.

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.