Hey there, folks!
It’s dreary and foggy here, which seems somehow fitting, since my husband is traveling this week, and it just doesn’t seem right that his leaving should coincide with a really glorious fall morning. If you think of it, we would really appreciate prayers for, well, sanity for the next month + as Shaun will be traveling on and off during that time (with an emphasis on the “on”), and things around here could get a bit hairy.
On this week’s agenda? Finishing a project for the big PCM giveaway/fundraiser, homeschooling, blogging, painting (furniture), housework, teaching fitness classes, practicing for BODYCOMBAT launch, having BC launch, and, oh yeah…life.
Will it all get done? Probably not, but I do know for sure that I will be teaching those fitness classes I mentioned and not just because they’re the only thing on the list that I officially get paid to do.
After a week at home with 3 kiddos and no husband, I’m sure I will need every single extra BODYCOMBAT practice.(Air-punching = fantastic stress relief!)
So, speaking of fitness, since it’s Move-it Monday, today I thought I’d do my best to bust 3 of the most common “fitness myths” that I encounter at the gym and elsewhere.
I just couldn’t resist! : )
Myth #1: You can lose weight from a specific section of your body by loading up on exercises that isolate that section.
Sorry, folks, but there’s really no such thing as isolation weight loss. Everybody has his/her own “trouble areas,” but by far, the most common question I get asked on this subject is: “How do I get this spare tire off of my stomach?”
Don’t we all wish?
Well, the answer isn’t actually: do more ab exercises. While knocking out 1,274 crunches every night before bed will certainly tone and strengthen the muscles of your midsection, and it will even burn some calories that will contribute to overall weight loss, it will not melt away belly fat.
The truth is that, if you don’t like the extra layer of “love” on your tummy (or bum, or…) then nothing but overall weight loss will take it off. In fact, if it’s your nemesis, it may be the last place your body loses weight.
So, focus less on the crunches and more on a balance of healthy eating, cardio, and strength-training, and then reassess.
Myth #2: Lifting weights will make you bulky.
Men are a different story, but, ladies, we simply are not naturally built to get muscles like this:
(This is incredibly tame compared to every other image that popped up when I searched for “female body-builder,” by the way…eek!)
Creating true “bulk” requires a specific diet, hours upon hours in the gym, and, in many cases, illegal/harmful chemical enhancers.
So, if you’re worried that doing that strength-training group fitness class twice a week at your gym will give you monster muscles, don’t be!
I’ve done BODYPUMP or some other form of resistance-training (relatively light weights with lots of reps) classes an average of three times a week for the past four years, and, while I have definitely seen a change in the level of tone in my arms, I have not had any issues with Popeye biceps or Ah-nuld shoulders.
In fact, unless you continually up your weight and really push yourself in every class, you may not notice too much of an external difference other than a general decrease in jiggle, but you will be helping to strengthen your bones, since resistance training is one of the best ways of increasing bone density, which, in turn, helps combat the effects of osteoporosis. Win!
Myth #3: Dance aerobics can burn off over 1,000 calories per hour.
Okay, I’ll admit that when I say “dance aerobics,” I have a very specific program in mind: Zumba.
I can’t find anything on the official Zumba website that claims this (thank goodness!), but I have seen multiple Facebook posts inviting people to come to “a dance party where you can shake off over a 1,000 calories in one 55 minute class.”
Is Zumba fun? Yes, especially if dance is your thing.
Is it a great form of cardio if you really get your body moving? Yes!
But unless you are a 250 lb. body-building male with ankle-weights on (and wouldn’t we all pay money to see one of those doing Zumba!), that level of calorie-burn for a low-impact dance aerobic class is simply impossible, no matter what that calorie-counting wrist-watch from Walmart says (by the way, unless said watch is linked to a heart-rate monitor via a chest strap, the readout is almost always much too high).
To give you a point of reference, at my current weight, about the maximum calorie-burn I can expect to experience in BODYCOMBAT is approximately 600 calories. And that’s jumping, kicking, and punching as hard as I possibly can while talking/yelling/teaching.
So, the next time you want to get your sweat on to some fun dance-beats, by all means, go for it! Just remember to estimate somewhere closer to 200-500 calories burned per hour and adjust your menu accordingly.
And there you have it, folks! Myths busted! Or at the least mildly refuted. ; )
Do you have a fitness question or claim that you’d love to have answered or confirmed? I can’t claim to know the answer, but I’ll certainly try my best to find out.