We have all been there, one fad exercise plan after another. We are seeking some way to feel comfortable in our skin. Some programs work, some leave you injured or insecure. Exercise plays an essential role in weight loss and healthy living when done correctly. We believe at Wellness 360 that exercise is medicine when appropriately prescribed. In the next few weeks, we will be discussing exercise and changing habits to create a healthier you. This week I will be debunking myths about exercise and weight loss.
Strength training will make me bulky. I hear this from females all the time. "I do not want to lift heavy because I may get big muscles." Your muscle matter develops according to your body type. Most women do not have the build for bulk. Some men work hard to gain size, and can not due to body type. Muscle building is one of the most important things you can do for your body! Strong muscles have multiple benefits! They support your joints, build and retain healthy bone density, improve your balance, to name a few. When building bone density, it is essential to build strong muscles using heavyweights! When it comes to weight loss, weight training is vital. The more muscle mass you have, the more your body burns calories at rest! That's right! You can burn more calories while sleeping. So make sure to add strength training into your workouts!
I walk every day for my exercise. I know I will get some kickback on this one. Walking is a great way to get your exercise, but not a great way to maximize your weight loss. First, there are a few questions I must ask. Are you changing your walking route? Are you incorporating hills? Are you doing anything else besides walking? Walking the same distance and the same route every day is great for a while, and there are health benefits to that. However, your body will become used to it, and you will plateau. This is why walking may be challenging at first, and then easier after doing it for a month. Keep up your walking, but change the terrain, add a hill, or, better yet, incorporate some new exercises with your walking. For lasting results, you need to add new things to keep your body guessing!
The scale is the most useful marker for healthy weight loss. Many things can make the scales misleading. Water retention, the time of day, or the month, hormones, constipation, and muscle mass, to name a few. One pound of muscle is much denser than one pound of fat. Think of a golf ball versus a beach ball, they may weigh the same, but their circumference is much different. In life, we should be focused on how we feel, not obsessed with the numbers on the scale. Put the scales away, how do you feel in your clothing? That is the real judge of weight loss.
All exercise programs are created equal. While there are many good intentions behind exercise classes, most are built for the average person. You know the class, the instructor is super peppy and fit, pressing those weights overhead like they weigh 2lbs! Group fitness classes are great for motivation, and to get a great workout in for most people. If you have had surgery, a diagnosis, pain, or are new to exercise, it is crucial to build on proper form and use modifications. If you can, go a bit early to class, meet your instructor, and discuss your health history. Jumping into class and pressing through will only leave you injured and unable to continue your exercise journey. Wellness 360 group fitness classes are designed and led by Physical Therapists. This is a great way to start an exercise program and build a strong foundation. We can teach you the modifications needed to make exercise successful!
Crunches will flatten my stomach. Long explanation short, if you are doing, crunches stop! Crunches will build core muscles; however, there is a tiny population of people where crunches would be appropriate. They will not make your stomach flat. To have a flat stomach takes a strict diet, cardio, and great genes! Crunches alone will cause muscle imbalances in your body leading to poor posture and neck and back pain. If you have Osteoporosis, crunches can lead to back fracture risk. Core work should be balanced, addressing your entire core, not just one muscle. We will be talking more about core work at the end of the month!
These are just a few myths that we can debunk to improve your exercise and weight loss journey. Remember, losing weight is a journey, not a mission. One step at a time. Wanting to take the leap but do not know where to start? We can help. Wellness 360 offers our online M.O.V.E. subscription. Our M.O.V.E. program supports your weight loss journey with the mind and the body. If you sign up for this program, you receive a FREE 2-week trial and a FREE lifestyle wellness consultation from a professional coach. This will help make your weight loss journey a success! Sign up today at www.wellness360fitness.com.