1. The more you sweat, the better
Similar to “No pain, no gain”, there is a German phrase that goes “Ohne Schweiß kein Preis” (“No reward without sweat” in English), but this isn’t strictly true. There is actually no proven correlation between the amount of perspiration produced and the effectiveness of the workout. Everyone produces different amounts of sweat and sweat in itself is not an indicator of effort, but rather a reaction from your body to cool itself down. One important thing to remember is that you should replace the water lost through perspiration by drinking lots of fluids.
2. Treadmills are gentler on your joints
No matter what surface you run on – grass, tarmac, forest floors or a treadmill – your body weight will put pressure on the lower joints, the ankles and knees. It is simply not true that the treadmill absorbs more impact, but it is true that you can reduce this impact by varying your training and doing endurance exercises on a bicycle or in a swimming pool.
3. Weight lifting turns women into balls of muscle
Women’s fear of gaining too much muscle mass is unfounded. From a physiological perspective women do not have the same hormonal makeup as men, that is, they have lower testosterone levels than their male counterparts. This is why women have no need to hesitate when picking up dumbbells to shape their bodies. To build the amount of muscle that many women are afraid of you would need very intense weight-lifting training over a long period of time.
4. Drinking causes cramps
Wrong on all accounts. In section 1 we mentioned how important it is to drink enough during training in order to balance your liquid and electrolyte levels. If you forget to do that, you could really pay the price during your workout.
5. Stretching before your workout reduces risk of injury
There are no studies that support this theory; quite the opposite, there is research that suggests that stretching before training could even increase risk of injury. The reason for this is that the tendons and ligaments can lose tension, which can then impair the coordination and capacity of your muscles. Stretching after your training, however, makes perfect sense because it relaxes your muscles and prevents bad cramps. For warming up we recommend more dynamic exercises like star jumps or running at a relaxed pace.
These were just five of the biggest, most widely-believed fitness myths. More to come soon ;-)