Five ways you’re shooting your workout in the foot

You’re probably starting to think about getting in shape or you’ve already started. We all want results but there is no need to hurt yourself in the process. Also there is a lot of misinformation out there, so here we will tackle the most common things that trip up the fitness beginner.


True or False: The best way to get a flat stomach is sit ups and crunches.

False, sit ups can cause lower back injuries and do not stabilize the core. The best moves to help tighten and strengthen your abdomen and low back are core exercises. When in doubt planks are a fantastic exercise. A plank is an endurance exercise for your core. When lying flat on your stomach on the floor prop yourself up on your forearms and toes, keeping your body off the ground and flat as a board. Start with 20-30 seconds and go up about 5 seconds per week. If this is difficult or painful, consult your healthcare professional.


True or False: Losing body fat is best achieved by doing cardio.

False, doing cardio alone reduces muscle mass which slows down your metabolism. Cardio alone often causes rebound weight gain because with lower muscle mass you cannot burn calories as quickly which converts to body fat. Instead try resistance training or a combination of weight lifting and cardio for best results.


True or False: Stretching before workouts prevents injury.

False, stretching before exercise can raise your risk of injury, you should be warming up instead. Stretching is an activity designed to lengthen the muscles in your body whereas warming up is preparing your body for the activity you’re about to perform. An example of stretching would be bending to touch your toes. An example of a warm up would be a slow jog or doing the motion without weights before adding weights to prepare your muscles for the activity.


How long should you wait to eat after working out?

a)      2 hours

b)      1 hour

c)       30 minutes

C. You shouldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes; while this may not be possible all the time make every effort to eat something before the 45 minute mark. Eating after working out will replenish your muscles, whereas if you wait longer than one hour, your muscle’s ability to repair themselves (which makes them bigger and stronger) decreases significantly.


True or False: The plan that helps you lose the most weight the fastest is always best.

False, plans with quick drastic results tend to be time consuming and are usually dropped. Stick with a plan you can realistically follow.



West Journal of Med.

Should people stretch before exercise?

April 2001

Ian Shrier


What You Eat After Exercise Matters

February 16, 2010

Dr. Joseph Mercola

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