As if making it to the gym wasn't hard enough, the health and fitness field is plagued by common misconceptions that can stand in the way of your fitness goals. Case in point: Three myths outlined by Business Insider reportedly "do more harm than good" for those looking to build healthy habits and get in shape. Here's what to be aware of when heading to the gym, as informed by exercise scientists, nutritionists, and trainers:
Myth #1: Working out once or twice a week is enough.
Despite an exciting new study claiming that hitting the gym once or twice a week will suffice, forming a solid workout habit requires more than that. "A minimum of three days per week for a structured exercise program is best," Shawn Arent, an exercise scientist at Rutgers University, told Business Insider. This is partly because scientists are "finding more and more that the act of sitting counteracts any of the [physical] activity you do."
Myth #2: Strength training will bulk up women "like men."
While there's nothing wrong with having a toned, muscular physique, our ability to build muscle is directly related to the amount of testosterone we have. Therefore, women have less of a chance of "bulking up" from lifting weights as men do. Aesthetics aside, strength training is a great way to build muscle, maintain a healthy weight, and improve your overall health.
Myth #3: Sports drinks are the best way to refuel after a workout.
As with juices, sports drinks are typically chock-full of sugar and boast few health benefits. Your body needs about 20 grams of protein to refuel after a workout, in addition to lots of water. "Protein ingestion during and/or immediately after exercise [can] facilitate the … adaptive response to each exercise session, resulting in more effective muscle reconditioning," reads a study from the Nestle Nutrition Institute.
What other fitness myths would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below!