When it comes to physical activity, myths and half-truths are rampant. We are especially vulnerable to falling for myths when we search for shortcuts or other too-good-to- be-true “secrets” to maximizing our results. However, some of the more pervasive fitness misconceptions may simply be long-held beliefs about the best ways to work out that were accepted truths at one time but were subsequently disproven by new research.
True or False Question 7
– Lifting weights will lead to bulky muscles.
False. While men, in particular, can make their muscles big and bulky by lifting weights, not all do—and it’s way more difficult for women to do because they don’t have the specific genes or the hormones to add muscle bulk. (Men have up to 70 times more testosterone, a known muscle builder, than women.) Muscles themselves aren’t bulky—if you looked at one pound of muscle compared to one pound of fat, you would see that the mass of muscle looks much smaller than the mass of fat. The truth is, muscle takes up way less space in your body! So, pick up a weight, some resistance bands, or try any of the Real Moves Strength workouts and you’ll be looking leaner—not bulkier— in no time.
True or False Question 8
– Exercising makes you hungrier.
It depends. Research has found that bouts of moderately vigorous exercise can actually suppress hunger for a while, thanks to changes in appetite-regulating hormones. And, other forms of mind- body exercise, such as yoga, may actually help you tolerate mild hunger without feeling the need to satisfy it immediately. This awareness can help you distinguish between true hunger and passing urges to eat, which can lead to a more mindful approach to eating in general. However, it also helps to be aware that some forms of high-intensity exercise can increase appetite if they’re done for long enough. If we’re not conscious of this phenomenon, when post-workout hunger kicks in, we may eat too much (instead of having a small snack and lots of water) and end up overcompensating for the calories we burned through physical activity.
Come back tomorrow for some more true and false questions about exercise.