Fact or Foe

Whatever the reason may be for people to start a workout regiment, we all have one thing in common when being at the gym; we all want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, many people hold different beliefs regarding the benefits on the gym and it is very important to be able to differentiate fact from myth. Luckily, CNN’s Madison Park recently published an article examining the ten common myths when it comes to working out. Not only does she state the multitude of different myths, but she also explains why they are false.

While many people want to believe the meter that is counting the number of calories you’re burning, this number is often very skewed. In order to calculate the amount of calories you may be burning, you would need to know your body fat composition. Seeing as many machines don’t even ask for your weight and sex, this value is impossible to calculate. Furthermore, someone with 18% body fat is going to burn a lot more calories than someone with 35% body fat. While calculating the amount of calories burned can be somewhat of a daunting task, I did find a bit of a simpler way to calculate on Livestrong’s website.

Although this trend is much more frequent in men, there is a common belief across the board that it is imperative to drink a protein shake after a workout. Seeing as your metabolic rate is the highest after working out, meaning you’re burning the most calories; it is definitely important to eat something after any type of exercise. However, Park states, “Protein shakes, powders and bars are good for emergencies, but they're the lowest quality food." Furthermore, these products are substantially more processed than a more organic way of getting some sort of protein. Park’s recommends a turkey sandwich or my personal favorite, hummus and vegetables, after a tough workout.

Thirdly, and possibly one of the most important myths to crush, is the belief that we can embark on a complete free-for-all by consuming whatever you want after hitting the gym. While you may have more leeway with consuming the foods you want, the gym by no means negates a bad diet. Also, Parks cites “emerging research suggests that if you're sedentary most of the day, it may not matter how hard or often you exercise.” It is very important to stick to a diet regiment in order to obtain the results you want. However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to reward yourself once and a while, but you might want to rethink picking up that krispy kreme after an intense workout.

There are still seven other myths that Park investigates and I urge you all to take a look at them. Who knows, maybe one your certainties about the gym will be crushed too!