water consumption

11 Most Common Myths On Fitness, Exercises And Workouts

1. When You Stop Working Out, Muscles Will Turn Into Fat

It’s the most typical workout myth in the world. Muscle has never and will never turn into fat and neither does fat turn into muscle. During weight training, more energy is required, hence a bigger appetite. When a person stops working out, the need for extra energy stops as well. But because the stomach size has increased due to a bigger appetite, the need to feel full has become a habit. Those extra calories that were once used as fuel while training is now stored as fat. It may seem like the bulk of muscle has turned into fat, but the truth is that the body became fatter due to eating more than previously needed.

Be it protein or carbohydrates, both turns into fat when not used. Cutting back on training requires you to cut back on food consumption as well.

2. Food Eaten After 8 At Night Will Turn Into Body Fat

Not entirely true. For people who workout during the later part of a day, it is important to eat accordingly. Whenever there is a need for the body to repair and rebuild, fuel is needed and the body most actively repairs during during sleep. However, it is more important to eat healthier foods during the later part of a day like lean meat, unsaturated fats, vegetables and fruits to avoid the risk of unwanted fat deposits. Give the body at least 2 hours to digest the food before going to bed.

3. Six Pack Abs Equal Six Hundred Sit Ups And Crunches Daily

Everyone has six pack abs. Abdominal exercises do not lead to clearly visible six pack abs but fat reduction does. The first place that fat goes to in the body, is the last place fat comes off (tummy for men and hips, butt, and thighs for women). Spot reduction of fat has never and will never work. A whole-body workout like cardio boxing is a great example of a fat reduction workout.

A six pack abs is a definite want for any man working out for it is a social muscle. Ab exercises will definitely strengthen and tone the abs but does not rid the fat. A better use of time would be to spend it on interval cardio sessions and making sure that proper food is fed to the body.

I actually have a personal digital body fat analyzer that I use from time to time that gives me a rough idea of my body’s current state. Accuracy may not be as good as a DXA but it’s good enough for me. You can easily get one at less than $US 10 from online auction sites like ebay.

4. Stretching And Warm Up Isn’t Necessary

I hit the gym everyday. And everyday I’ll take up 10 minutes to stretch and warm up my body from head to toe. It is necessary to avoid sprains and injuries. Even after a good day’s workout, I stretch. It greatly reduces the severity of DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, which will be pretty much appreciated the morning after.

5. Supplements Will Boost Muscle Growth And Strength In No Time

There are only 2 ways to make the most gains in mass and might.

  • A good training program.
  • A well planned out diet.

Time and energy should be focused on the 2 methods mentioned above rather than on supplements that claim to be able to bring out the Arnold in you. Some supplements may have serious and irreversible side effects if taken wrongly. For example, steroids taken wrongly may lead to a loss of appetite, constipation, intestinal irritation, vomiting, nose bleeding, headaches, increased aggression and even liver cancer. It’s way better to attain the results we want naturally. Think safe, think long term. Our body’s health should not be taken lightly.

6. Your Body Weakens With Age

It’s all in the mind. Think old and you’ll look old and act old. The fact is, exercise doesn’t only improve your physique and rejuvenates your spirit, but also gives you a healthy perspective on people and the world around. 

With regular exercise, training and a low-fat diet, you’ll gain increased energy levels, leaner body mass and an optimum body fat percentage. With the big 90 around the corner, people still do experience renewed strength, increased mobility, stronger bones and greater flexibility by exercising.

7. The Longer Time I Spend At The Gym, The Fitter I Become

It's different for each person, but for me, it’s no longer than 30 minutes 5 times a week with a 15 minute warmup and 15 core exercise and stretching at the end of the workout. The focus here is on efficiency and effectiveness that works every muscle in your body. An average bodybuilder does not spend more than 1 hour working out. People who just don’t have the time to workout that much will lose interest and motivation to exercise, if the myth were true. The point is, any exercise, at all, done correctly is better than none.

8. If I Don’t Feel Pain In The Morning, I Didn’t Work Out Hard Enough

When we exercise or lift weights, our muscle fibers will tear a little. Muscle soreness is expected, but normally heals within a week. Anything more than a week is an indication of over working out. Committing to a fitness program will eventually lead the muscle into getting used to it. Changing a fitness program regularly will ensure that all muscles are worked on and experiencing growth.

However, what happens in the gym is only meant to PROMOTE muscle growth. The REAL process begins only when a person is RECOVERING. Pain should not be used as a measurement of a workout session’s effectiveness. Some soreness, yes, but not pain. Always remember to stretch before and after. Get enough rest and work on different muscle groups on different days. Rest a day if the muscles are still sore.

9. Avoid Drinking Water When Your Body Is Over Heated

An average human body’s water content is 60% for men and 55% for women. In my body, 86 out of 143 pounds are water. If the body’s water content drops 5%, it’s already considered dehydration. An hour of vigorous exercise is enough to drain a quart (~1 liter). Drinking before, during and after is pretty important.

During exercise, muscles generate heat that will cause a rise in body temperature. This heat is doused by water when it is carried in the bloodstream and pushed to the surface as bullets of sweat. It continues to drain water from the body until it is replenished. Thirst is already a sign of dehydration. Drinking water keeps the muscles oiled and the body productive. Here's how much water should you drink.

10. The Prime Time For Exercising And Working Out Is In The Mornings

Correction. The best time to exercise is the time that works with the individual’s body clock and fits their busy days. People working out in the morning are more likely to stick to their fitness plans as they are able to get it in before the various demands of life compete for their time.

Many, many people believe that the best way to lose fat is to start pushing your body right after waking up in the mornings, on an empty stomach. I say no. Exercise is meant for toning the muscle and burning fat. Inability to draw energy from the main source will only force the body to go to other sources of energy, which are your muscles and fat. More muscles are used up as fuel as their composition is much simpler compared to fat.

11. It Is Okay To Cover A Week’s Worth Of Workout During The Weekend

It’s much better spreading a workout all over the week instead of pounding the body during weekends. A weekend warrior will lose out on other health benefits. Blood pressure and glucose levels are temporarily lowered during each exercise, which are beneficial in the long run. Exercising regularly also keeps a person’s appetite consistent.

 

Water: Staying Safely Hydrated

Water: How much should you drink every day?

Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you drink enough fluids.

How much water should you drink each day? It's a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Health benefits of water

Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?

Everyone has heard the advice, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day." That's about 1.9 liters, which isn't that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the "8 by 8" rule isn't supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it's easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total.

Factors that influence water needs

You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

  • Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 milliliters) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise.
  • Intense exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it's best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you're finished exercising.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. You may also need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions, such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases, may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters ) of fluids a day.

Beyond the tap: Other sources of water

You don't need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are 90 percent or more water by weight.

In addition, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, tea or soda — can contribute, but these should not be a major portion of your daily total fluid intake. Water is still your best bet because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Staying safely hydrated

Generally, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow — and measures about 6.3 cups (1.5 liters) or more a day if you were to keep track — your fluid intake is probably adequate. If you're concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that's right for you.

To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's also a good idea to:

  • Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise

Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

AUTHOR: STAFF @ MAYO CLINIC