Exercise is one of the most important things we can do for our health. However, there are so many myths and mistakes relating to exercise. Ensuring that you do not make miscalculations or believe in myths can be vital for staying healthy with exercise. Today, I will discuss common exercise myths and mistakes, especially for teenagers. If you are looking for an introductory guide, check out Exercise for Teenagers: A Complete Guide!
Myth: Running is Bad for Your Knees
The misconception that running will damage your knees and joints is everywhere. The knees endure a lot when running, so many believe it is harmful. Medical research has shown that running is actually beneficial for your knees! It can also decrease your risk for joint issues like arthritis. Although, there are certain circumstances where running can indirectly harm your knees. Ensure you rest and do not run in old or worn-out shoes.
Running is not bad for your knees. It is beneficial!
Myth: Sports Drinks Are Necessary
Many people believe that sports drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde are necessary for doing well during a workout. Sports drinks are unnecessary in most situations. Research has shown if you exercise for more than one hour, you may benefit from a sports drink. Many of these drinks are full of sugar, sodium, and calories to help you with your workout, so if you are not exercising for more than an hour, they are harmful.
Sports drinks are only beneficial if you exercise for more than one hour. Otherwise, they are harmful due to the high amount of added sugars, sodium, and calories they contain.
Myth: Fat Can Turn Into Muscle and Vice-Versa
You can not turn fat into muscle and muscle into fat. You just cannot! A common goal for many people is to lose fat and gain muscle. The three types of muscle tissue, skeletal, smooth, and cardiac, are all made of proteins. On the other hand, fat is made of triglycerides and not proteins. Because of the differences in the chemical structure of muscle and fat cells, they are not interchangeable. This article by Healthline does a great job of explaining this.
You must lose fat and gain muscle separately. Fat does not convert into muscle, and muscle does not convert into fat.
Myth: Not Feeling Sore Means You Did Not Have an Effective Workout
Many people believe that if you do not feel sore, you had a "bad workout." “No pain, no gain” is a phrase you will commonly hear from people trying to build strength or endurance. Muscle soreness is caused by minor damage to the muscle fibers or the surrounding structures. Even if you are not sore, rest assured, your workout was still "good," as your body has improved its ability to deal with the damage and strain. Although, you may choose to change up your workout routine to exercise different parts of your body.
If you are not sore after a workout, it does not mean you did not get its benefits. Your body has just adapted to that type of exercise.
Myth: You Can Target Fat Burning in Specific Areas of Your Body
You cannot target fat loss in a part of your body. When you burn fat, you lose it equally throughout your entire body. For example, doing bicep curls with your right arm will not make it burn more fat than your left.
If you want to lose fat anywhere in your body, you must lose it everywhere. You can not target fat loss.
Mistake: Having a Bad Form and Posture
Good form and posture are some of the most important things to have when working out. When you have poor posture, you increase your risk for injury. Try to sit and stand up straight and keep correct form during workouts. For example, not swinging when doing bicep curls increases the effectiveness of that exercise. When you sway your arms during bicep curls, you exercise all the muscles except your biceps.
Good form and posture are vital when exercising because they prevent injury and increase strength and endurance.
Mistake: Not Warming up and Cooling Down
Warming up and cooling down is not mandatory, but doing so could help you improve your performance and reduce your risk for injuries. Warming up is beneficial because it gets your heart beating and blood flowing to the muscles you are about to use. Cooling down is helpful for gradual recovery at the end of your workout.
Warming up and cooling down is good for increasing the effectiveness of your workouts and decreasing your risk for injury.
Mistake: Not Taking Time to Rest and Recover
Many people believe that the more you work out, the better. Although this is somewhat true, rest is still vital. When you ensure time to recover between workouts, your body rebuilds your muscles and increases your strength and endurance. Some people may also find it easier mentally to work out after resting.
Ensuring that you take time to rest and recover between workouts is one of the best things you can do for your body after exercise. Your body needs time to recover and rebuild your muscles after a workout, especially an intense or difficult one.
Mistake: Having a Repetitive Routine
A repetitive routine is not inherently harmful, especially if you enjoy it. If you are doing the same workouts every day, you may not have balanced muscle size and strength throughout your body. For example, if you always do bicep work but never triceps, your body will be unbalanced.
Repetitive workouts are not harmful in themself but may cause unbalanced muscles. For example, you may develop big biceps with small forearms or great running endurance with bad endurance when squatting.
There are many myths and mistakes that you can make when working out, some more important than others. Making sure you do not believe in myths or make mistakes while exercising can help you make your workouts better. I hope this article helped you take your exercise routine to the next level and meet your strength and endurance goals!