Healthy living: Five fitness myths

Holly addresses five exercise and fitness myths
Holly addresses five exercise and fitness myths

So you thought skipping breakfast helped you lose weight?

That the best way to get in shape is by running and low-fat food is the healthiest option?

You thought wrong.

These are just a few of the common myths we think are beneficial but in actual fact are the opposite and could be jeopardising our health.

Here are some other tips that it is good to ignore.

It is commonly believed that exercising before eating burns more fat and increases weight loss.

However, not fuelling your body correctly will cause you to lack energy and result in the workout being less effective in the long run.

Try eating a small, high-energy snack beforehand such as toast with peanut butter, a banana or a small bowl of cereal which will provide the energy needed to power your body and achieve the best results.

There is a misconception that using weights will make you bulk up, but this is not the case.

Strength training holds a number of benefits such as toning and sculpting muscles, maintaining healthy joints and boosting the metabolism which promotes weight loss.

Begin by using small weights when doing strength exercises like squats and lunges, and gradually increase the weights as you get stronger.

This will increase muscle mass and create a lean and toned physique.

Low-fat and diet foods are healthier

The majority of ‘diet’ and ‘low-fat’ options often contain the same amount of calories as the full-fat version, as well as additional sugar and additives that keep you wanting more.

The key to losing weight is to choose the right fats and not cut them out completely.

Foods such as nuts, avocado, coconut oil and salmon contain healthy fats and key nutrients which keep you fuller for longer, increase energy and help to reduce unhealthy cravings.

Running is the best exercise to lose weight

Running is a great way to get fit and lose weight, but when done incorrectly it can also be damaging.

Poor posture, pushing too hard and not fuelling your body correctly can result in injury, muscle damage and stress out your body.

Start with a couple of short sessions each week and build up as your fitness levels increase.

Try to include a variety of exercises such as cycling, swimming and Pilates which all work different muscle groups and remember to have regular rest days to allow time to heal.

Working out means you can eat what you like

Maintaining a healthy weight is 80 per cent down to nutrition.

Therefore it is impossible to out-train a bad diet.

Sometimes small changes to your diet are all you need to shift the pounds.

Try cutting down on salt, sugar, alcohol and processed foods.

Drink plenty of water and eat a variety of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein such as eggs, fish and meat.

Steer clear of ‘diet’ and ‘reduced-fat’ options, instead opt for the full-fat version but keep an eye on portion sizes and avoid unnecessary added ingredients.