Looking to start a workout plan for the new year – keep this in mind

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Top 10 workout myths and the truth

BY DAVID WEBSTER

MAYO CLINIC NEWS NETWORK

 Being proactive to achieve long-term health and wellness is important, so don’t let misinformation sabotage your efforts. Here are 10 workout myths:

Myth 1: Stick solely to cardio for weight loss. You need to incorporate both cardio and strength training into your workout. Strength training builds muscles and maximizes your cardio routine. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, especially during cardio.

Myth 2: Heavy weights will bulk you up. You would have to work out excessively to do so.

Myth 3: If you work out today, you can be lax in your diet. You can’t work off a bad diet. If you want to lose weight, your calorie output needs to be higher than your calorie input.

Myth 4: Stretching helps prevent injuries. While stretching is beneficial, there is no proven research that it will reduce your chances of injury.

Myth 5: If the number on the scale isn’t going down, you’re not losing weight. The number on the scale is a factor of many things, including how much water you’ve consumed, what you ate and when you’re weighing in. And the number on the scale can go up because of building muscle from exercise.

Myth 6: Cardio machines count burned calories with 100% accuracy. Some people depend on the treadmill to tell them an exact number of calories burned during a workout. Unfortunately, this metric isn’t 100% accurate. Many factors determine how many calories your body burns, including your sex, age and weight. Some machines allow you to enter personalized data in one or two of these factors but rarely all three.

Myth 7: Sticking to ab workouts will give you a six-pack. Abdominal workouts are great for developing core muscles, but if you want six-pack abs, you have to decrease your body fat to 10%-12% for men or 11%-13% for women.

Myth 8: Supplements and protein shakes are necessary after workouts. You don’t need supplements and shakes to get proper nutrients. You can get those nutrients from other food sources.

Myth 9: If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough. Sweating is an inaccurate way to measure your workout. Many factors go into the amount a person sweats, such as the temperature, humidity and hydration levels.

Myth 10: No pain, no gain. While feeling uncomfortable during a workout is normal, feeling pain is not. If you start to feel pain during a workout, stop immediately.

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