Exercise Myths WP

These days, an abundance of well-meaning, yet dodgy advice on all things nutrition and exercise means we often find ourselves pushing, depriving and punishing ourselves — with little result.

We practice the so-called healthy habits we’re unknowingly led to believe will help us release those pesky kilos, tone our bods and increase our longevity, when in actuality, they’re completely wasting our time.

Worse still, some of those exercise and healthy-eating plans can do more harm than good.

False hopes and promises, you could say.

Today, we’ve turned to in-the-know Personal Trainer and Health Coach Kylie Anderson, of Be Your Radiant Self, to help us dissect some of the more common and misleading exercise and fitness myths out there and reveal the real truth behind each one.



Screen-Shot-2014-08-22-at-9.08.10-PM“Doing sit ups will give you a flat stomach.”


While sit-ups and other abdominal exercises are important and should be part of your regular exercise regime, alone, they will not give you a flat stomach.

This is a huge misconception I come across often where clients will ask me to give them a belly workout because they need to lose the fat around their belly.

To really help you work towards getting a flat tummy, you need to make sure you are doing a good amount of cardio exercises —whether that is on machines such as a treadmill or cross trainer, or star jumps and skipping.

As with everything, it is all about finding a balance and making sure your workouts are well-rounded and incorporate bits of all aspects of movement.



Screen-Shot-2014-08-22-at-9.08.20-PM “Shakes are great for weight loss.”


The whole ‘shakes diet’ really gets under my skin. When it comes to your health and losing weight, nothing beats fresh, non-processed food.

Yes, these shakes do make you lose weight, but that is because you aren’t eating anything.

Once you begin to start eating properly again, you put the weight back on and, most of the time, some extra kilos.

It truly pays to take the ‘slow and steady approach’, which will lead to long-term results, changed habits and a healthy and happy life.



“Lifting weights makes you bulk up.”


Women tend to be afraid of weights training, usually because they think they are going to bulk up like a man.

This myth is busted!

As women, we don’t have enough testosterone in our bodies for us to bulk up like men.

Personally, I love weight training and the added benefit is that you continue to burn energy long after you have finished your workout.

So, never fear — try the weights.



“If you’re not sweating, you’re not exercising effectively.”


Sweating is the body’s way of cooling down, so it really doesn’t have anything to do with how effectively you are exercising. Plus, some people sweat more than others, so it really isn’t a true indicator.

Exercise, such as yoga and walking, don’t leave you lathered in sweat (unless of course you are doing Bikram Yoga) but they are a great way to move your body.

So, don’t focus on the sweat factor — just focus on how the exercise makes you feel and how your body responds to it. That is your true indicator.



“Exercise cancels out bad eating habits.”


I tend to see two types of people: they either eat badly after a workout because they have exercised, or, they keep on track with healthy options because they have exercised.

It really is psychological.

 No matter how much exercise you do, if you are making bad food choices all the time, you are never going to get far with your health. You need to give your body good, nutritious fuel so it can run efficiently and in return you get increased energy levels, a clearer head and healthy insides.

You know the saying: “It’s 20% exercise and 80% food.”

Well, it’s true, so keep that in mind when you make your food choices. Support your exercise, instead of hindering it.



“You need to exercise for long periods of time to see results.”


If you are exercising for an hour or more, then you probably aren’t exercising as efficiently as you should be.

Anywhere between 20 minutes and 45 minutes, maximum, is perfect. Even shorter bursts of 10 minutes, two or three times a day, is good.

Concentrate on your technique and once you get that right, you will see what I mean. If you are trying a new exercise, stand in front of a mirror or even take a short video on your phone, then look back and make sure you are doing it correctly.

If you’re not sure, YouTube has heaps of videos or speak to someone at your local gym.

The right technique and a well-rounded approach is what you should focus on — not the length of time you are exercising.

Have you fallen victim to any of the above exercise myths? What else have you tried that hasn’t worked for you? Share with us in the comments below!

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Kylie Anderson is the founder of Be Your Radiant Self and is a reiki healer, holistic health coach, personal trainer, blogger, speaker and mama of two girls. Her mission in life is to inspire and support women everywhere on their journey to coming back home to themselves and connecting back to themselves - physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually. Kylie realised the importance of this after having her first daughter and going through the process of feeling lost and yearning for the soulful space to just be herself.