I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest over the past several months and I’ve been noticing a trend that bothers me every time. As someone with a career in fitness and health, one of the boards I put a lot of time into revolves around different types of workouts. As Pinterest learns my preferences, I’m usually greeted with delicious food posts and workouts when I sign in.
The problem with most of these workouts is that they are almost always titled as some variation of “Belly Blaster” or “Melt that Arm Fat.” You get the idea. I can’t help but wonder how long it will take for people to realize that there is no quick fix to a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to play into that psychology, but I wish that people and companies would be more honest in their fitness marketing. Also, this would help me have more workouts to actually pin to my boards. These are the important things.
Since I was reminded yet again today, I want to share five misconceptions that I want to change about working out.
Working Out Takes WORK
It’s called “working out” for a reason. In order for you to make significant changes to your body, you have to be willing to go beyond your comfort zone. If it were easy, everyone would do it and everyone would be in shape.
I had a previous client who would automatically stop when she became out of breath or perceived that she was working too hard. As a result, her cardio never improved and she only saw a small amount of weight loss over a period of months. You have to go into each workout being willing to give your all. That can mean different things on different days, but as long as you finish knowing you did everything you could, it’s a great workout!
There’s no short term
Unless you want to regress to your starting point, there is no short term in adopting a healthy lifestyle. This is also my problem with the word “diet.” Short term plans will result in short term solutions. You may lose weight, but if you don’t do anything to maintain it, you’ll soon find yourself right back where you started.
If you are serious about making changes for the better, you have to think long term. It’s about making manageable, consistent choices in order to live a better life.
Targeted fat loss doesn’t exist
Many of those pins that I see focus on one body part and use an extremely exaggerated photo to draw you in. I hate to break it to anyone who still thinks that they can lose their love handles by exclusively working their obliques, but it’s just not going to happen. Exercising and burning calories causes you to lose weight all over, and each body is different in where that weight will first come off. There is not one universal plan to help everyone in the same way.
Exercise is only part of the equation
Nutrition is HUGE when it comes to fitness and weight loss. Exercise is only part of the equation. If you work out consistently but then eat donuts and pizza everyday (don’t look at my Instagram), then you’re not going to see the same results as if you also adopt a cleaner pattern of eating.
While I say that nutrition is an important part of your overall wellness, I’m not advocating for restriction. Personally, I believe in moderation, and to me those donuts are worth not having rock hard abs. Make sure to think about your long term goals and weigh them against your everyday happiness. We only have one life to live.
You get out what you put in
If you do a 15-minute arm workout and call it a day, you probably won’t be seeing huge results. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, adults need an average of 150 hours of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Make sure to get that heart rate up with things like running, walking, biking, swimming, etc. Even heavy weight lifting will raise your heart rate pretty quickly.
- What other fitness misconceptions have you seen?
*As always, I am a certified personal trainer, but I am not YOUR personal trainer. Make sure to seek the advice of a doctor before starting any type of new exercise routine and work with your specific trainer to develop a plan that works for you!