Top 5 Fitness Myths Busted!

Zivile Ngo Healthy Lifestyle Coach brings us the 5 most common fitness myths…don’t fall for ’em anymore!

People Exercising at a GymnasiumMyth #1: Diet pills to boost your effort.

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for it. The ‘magic pill’ has yet to be discovered. Actually, it has been discovered…it’s called exercise. Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your pocketbook than to slim you down.

Tip: Don’t pop pills! Burn calories with exercise for healthy, long-lasting success.

Myth #2: Starve the pounds away.

Attempting to lose weight by severely limiting calories is not only ineffective, it’s also dangerous. Although it may seem that calorie restriction delivers the fastest weight loss, due to our bodies’ complexities, by doing so, we disrupt our metabolism and slow results.

Tip: Don’t starve yourself! Instead, eat healthy, balanced meals throughout the day.

Myth #3: Crunches are the way to flatter abs.

We all want our midsection to look toned, but excessive crunches aren’t the answer for tight abs. In order to achieve a lean look, focus on burning off the layer of fat that is covering up your abs. We all have muscles under there somewhere. Fat burn results from exercise and diet, not from your ab roller or hundreds of crunches.

Tip: Don’t obsess about crunches! Instead, focus on overall fat burn.

Myth #4: Packaged diet foods are the easiest way to speedy results.

It’s amazing (and unfortunate) to see all of the many ‘diet’ or ‘weight loss’ packaged foods. More often than not, these products are packed with sodium, refined sugar, and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need. Ditch the packages and focus on feeding your body with real foods like raw and cooked vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. Clean eating really is that simple.

Tip: Don’t eat packaged diet foods! Instead, stick with nutritious, whole foods.

Myth #5: Avoid all carbohydrates in order to slim down.

Carbohydrates have been given a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbs while losing weight. Carbs give us energy and help our muscles recover post-workout. The key is avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Tip: Don’t swear off all carbohydrates! instead, stick with whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice.

One Healthy Breakdown: it’s no mystery. Hard work and healthy eating wins every time!

Q & A w Z: Vacation

Q: How do you suggest staying fit on vacation? What’s a good balance between enjoying your time off or with family, but not feeling like you’re falling off your fitness plan all-together?

transportationA: Vacation is vacation. It’s time to relax. It’s the time when you shouldn’t be strictly dieting, counting calories, and going crazy about your macro-nutrients. You can still be active: hike, swim, walk, etc. just don’t be so strict. Try some new foods, exotic fruits, fresh-squeezed juices, locally grown vegetables. Give your body a break. Let yourself stray from your routine. We all need to stop once in a while. Vacation should be a time to recharge your battery. Leave your diet and workout routines at home. It will be there when you come back, I promise you. Have a delicious meal, enjoy a yummy cocktail, try a new dessert. Get back on track when you get home. That is the true balance.

One Healthy Breakdown: Vacation is VACATION!

Q & A w Z: Muscle Fibers

Q. What is the difference between slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers? Why is it important to work both?

A: Let’s talk about muscle. Muscle allows the body to turn energy into motion. You won’t be able to do anything without muscle tissue. You have more than 600 muscles in your body. They help you move, lift things, pump blood through the body, and even help you breathe. Pretty cool, huh? I’m sure you’ve also heard about slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers, or Type I and Type II…Getting a bit more specific here. Little confused? No problem. Keep on reading and you’ll find out more about each and what they do.

I like to keep it simple and try to explain science in simple English. Type I (slow twitch) muscle fibers dominate in an elite distance runner’s body. They are trained in endurance. Think about running for a long period of time, at a steady pace, medium intensity; these fibers are fatigue-resistant. They also produce less force than Type II fibers and that’s the main reason why they can last a lot longer. Marathon runners, bikers, or swimmers for example, work on running endurance, which occurs when the slow muscles use oxygen to create energy for long-lasting muscle contractions.

Athlete Running Through Finish LineOn the other hand, Type II, fast-twitch muscle fibers, are associated with strength and power. Think about super heavy squats or sprinting. How much you can do? How long can you last? Not long. Your fuel runs out quickly. These fibers fatigue super fast. Fast twitch fibers use anaerobic metabolism for fast energy instead of oxygen; the muscles get the energy faster, and in fuller force, but do not exhibit endurance. When we think of Type II fibers, we typically picture Olympic lifters, track sprinters, baseball players, and bodybuilders.

Everyone has a mix of both types of muscle fibers. People who have major disparity between muscle fibers often end up being elite athlete (genetics play a huge role). If you have a specific goal, you’ll gear your workouts towards Type I for endurance training or cardiovascular health or Type II for strength, agility, and bone density. Make sure not to neglect one or the other. Your workouts should include both the heavy loads necessary to stimulate what I call the “Big Boys,” the Type II fibers, as well as the lighter loads that do a better job getting the “Slow Boys” or the Type I fibers to grow.

One Healthy Breakdown: Now we know all about muscle fibers and that it is important to have some balance of the two types of exercise for overall fitness!

If you have a question for Z, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com or post on the OHH facebook page!