Fitness Myths Busted: Fat-Burning, Optimal Amount & More

Feb 14 2020

Back by popular demand… We’re clearing up fitness myths!

A lot of them are enough to make many people say, "Forget it!" But our buddy and go-to fitness expert Robert J. Davis is clearing up the confusion. He's a health journalist with a PhD, an expert myth buster, and a super-entertaining writer. Fun fact: He was the best man at HG Lisa's wedding! Today, we're sharing a handful of the myths he covers in his book, Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day (available in stores and online!).

Myth #1: You need to exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day to see benefits.

This one is false, and we're happy to hear it! Many of us just don't have time for that. Robert says, "Calorie-burning is a function of time and intensity. This means that the less vigorously you're able or willing to work out, the more time you need to put in for optimal results." In other words, you can get away with shorter workouts as long as you kick up the intensity. His method focuses on working hard for short bursts of time and alternating with rest periods (high-intensity interval training, also called HIIT). Research has shown that this technique can enable people to effectively increase their cardio fitness without a big time commitment. We're in!

Myth #2: Doing cardio on an empty stomach burns more fat.

Good news: There's no need to hit the gym hungry, because it doesn't do the average person any good. Sure, bodybuilders and endurance athletes use this technique for specific reasons... but those don’t really apply to us regular humans. Studies have compared the fat and weight loss of subjects who fasted pre-workout and those who had eaten, and they found the results were basically the same. In fact, Robert says that people who are not trained athletes might be putting undue stress on themselves by doing aerobic exercise on an empty stomach, i.e. without any fuel!

Myth #3: Walking 10,000 steps per day is optimal.

Get this... Apparently, the 10,000 steps a day benchmark popped up during the '60s as a result of a Japanese pedometer called manpo-kei. The name translates to "10,000 steps meter," 10,000 being an important number in several East Asian cultures. According to Robert, you can still fall short of meeting recommended exercise requirements even if you hit 10,000 steps! The key is to walk briskly for at least 10 minutes at a time. And avoid taking fewer than 5,000 steps per day, which puts you into the sedentary category.

Myth #4: You need to drink lots of water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration.

We're big fans of staying hydrated to avoid imaginary hunger pangs, but chugging a large amount of water surrounding your workout might not be necessary. Robert says, "Research shows that most people typically get enough water through foods (which supply 20 percent of our water) and beverages (including coffee, tea, soda, juice, and milk), and thirst is a reliable indicator of when we need more fluid, even during exercise." Moreover, if you drink too much water during exercise, your body may not be able to get rid of the excess fluid, and your sodium levels can drop dangerously low. So, drink your water, but don't force it!

Myth #5: Heavy sweating means a more intense workout.

Nope. Perspiration varies from person to person! How much you sweat is based upon factors like gender, age, genetics, temperature, humidity, weight, and even your current fitness level. Robert says, "Surprisingly, fit people tend to sweat sooner during exercise and more copiously than those who are less fit. Research shows that as your fitness level improves, your body's heat-regulating system becomes more efficient, cooling you down faster and allowing you to work harder." Pretty fascinating stuff!

Hungry for More Myth-Busting? Grab the Latest Issue of Hungry Girl Magazine!

Robert and four more fitness & nutrition experts serve up invaluable info in the “Myth Blasting!” story in the current issue of Hungry Girl magazine. They answer questions like…

⭑ Are organic foods healthier than non-organic ones?
⭑ Is added fiber as good as naturally occurring fiber?
⭑ Are frozen fruits & veggies as nutritious as fresh?
… and so much more!

Find the Winter 2020 issue at a supermarket near you, or order online (free shipping!).
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Chew on this:

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