Fitness Myths: Getting to the truth about fitness

Fitness Myths - Women Lifting Weights

When it comes to exercise and fitness, everyone seems to be an expert. So, how do you know what’s good advice and what’s not? Let’s break down the misinformation:

MYTH: No pain, no gain.
TRUTH: “If you are not active or exercise is brand new to you, you will get sore!” – Heritage Victor Valley Medical Certified Trainer Monica Padilla. A little discomfort is okay. If you feel a sharp pain anywhere while exercising, you should stop what you’re doing immediately and consult a doctor. Ignoring your body’s warning signs that something is wrong can lead to a serious injury.

MYTH: You shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach.
TRUTH: Studies have shown that your body burns more fat when you hit the gym before you eat breakfast. It’s important to make sure you’re properly hydrated at all times, but it’s not necessary to eat a meal or even a snack before starting your exercise routine.

MYTH: Carbs are bad.
TRUTH: If you want to gain muscle, you’re going to need carbs. Carbohydrates are fuel for intense workouts, not fats. The key is choosing the right diet and nutrition plan for your fitness goals. “If you want to see results, you should be eating more complex carbs,” said Monica Padilla, who lists acorn squash, black beans, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, blueberries and spinach as complex carbs that are great for building muscle, energy and weight loss. Additionally, you need a minimum amount of carbs to ensure that your brain functions properly because it needs glucose to work. So, while a low-carb diet may help to shed some pounds, a no-carb diet is a recipe for disaster.

MYTH: Crunches are the best fitness regiment for your core.
TRUTH: “Every trainer will have their own opinions on what is the best core exercise, but in my personal opinion it’s all about keeping still and not doing hundreds of reps, crunches, etc.,” Monica said. She recommends doing exercises like the “plank”. This is  where you hold your body in a straight line from shoulders to ankles while supporting it with your forearms and toes, and the “dead-bug,” where you lie on your back with your arms and legs, bent 90 degrees at the knee, raised and slowly lower your limbs until they hover just above the floor. “The hold and slow-controlled movements are what is going to strengthen your core, not reps,” Monica Padilla said.

MYTH: You can’t build muscles with veggies.
TRUTH: To build muscle, you need three consistent elements. Stimulus from exercise, calories, and nutrients to support muscle growth and recovery. Vegetables are filled with slow-digesting carbs, minerals, and vitamins. They’re like grains, but with fewer calories, making them great fitness fodder. “The best vegetables to eat for muscle gain that have a high protein source are peas, spinach, kale, and broccoli,”- Monica Padilla.

MYTH: Weight training turns women into men.
TRUTH: Just like men, every woman’s body structure is different. Some have more feminine lines, while others may be more androgynous. But if women weren’t supposed to be muscular, why do they have muscles? It’s up to each individual to decide what type of look they’re going for. If women don’t want to appear too bulky, that doesn’t mean they can’t lift weights. More-than-average muscle mass combined with excess body fat can lead to a bigger look. Although, it doesn’t have to be the end result. If you couple of weight training and exercise with a smart diet, you’ll be stronger and smaller than you’d expect.

MYTH: Healthy on the outside = Healthy on the inside.
TRUTH: You can be the fittest person ever, but that does not mean that you are not prone to diseases or cancers. Many symptoms, deficiencies, toxins, and diseases are silent, showing no initial warning signs visible to the naked eye. “It’s very important to get at least two doctor check-ups a year to ensure we are clear,” says Monica. “Every year we get older, our bodies change, and we have to make sure that we see our doctors and they do their routine checks to ensure we are healthy.”

Thankfully, knowledge is power. What you don’t know about fitness, exercise and nutrition can not only interfere with your goals but be detrimental to your overall well-being. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some of the most popular fitness myths and debunked them so you can feel confident that the advice your taking is right for you.

Heritage LifeFIT Trainer: Monica Padilla
Certified Trainer – Monica Padilla

Many of us coming into fitness for the first time can be a scary experience due to lack of knowledge and the question of, “what do I do? how do I do it? What do I eat?” etc. Come in and see me and let me take away your anxiety and stress and let me help you make fitness easy and fun and effective for you. We all started somewhere, and we all have questions, but I am personally devoted to not only helping all of my clients but also getting them to hit their own personal goals. You will not only hit your personal goals but also learn and gain knowledge along the way that’s going to stick with you and help you in the present and future. What’s stopping you? Come see me and let’s get started together!

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Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group (HVVMG) offers its members award-winning coordinated care with a speedy referral system. Heritage has 45 primary care physicians and a panel of two hundred medical specialists across Southern California’s High Desert, as well as the mountain communities. They also have a locally based members service team and is dedicated to a spirit of excellence. HVVMG is part of the Heritage Provider Network.