The Happy Healthy Human Coach Michele Cuffe, joined Gayle Guyardo the host of the global health and wellness show Bloom about fitness myths. She also took Guyardo through some stretches that go against conventional wisdom.
Myth or Fact: You can tone your muscle simply by lifting weights?
Yes, you can tone your muscles through various forms of exercise and physical activity. “Toning” typically refers to the process of increasing muscle definition and reducing body fat to create a lean and sculpted appearance.
Myth or Fact: If you do ab exercises, you’ll get abs?
Doing ab exercises is an essential component of developing and strengthening your abdominal muscles but having visible “abs” (defined and toned abdominal muscles) involves more than just doing ab exercises.
Diet is one of the most critical factors in achieving visible abdominal muscles, it’s important to maintaining a low body fat percentage. Even if you have strong abdominal muscles, they may not be visible if they are covered by a layer of body fat. To reveal your abs, you need to focus on a balanced diet that creates a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume) to reduce body fat.
Myth or Fact: Your muscle will turn to fat, or your fat will turn to muscle
Muscle and fat are two entirely different types of tissues, and one does not magically turn into the other. It’s a common misconception that muscle can turn into fat or vice versa, but this is not biologically accurate. Here’s what happens when it seems like muscle turns into fat or fat turns into muscle.
Muscle tissue is made up of muscle fibers, while fat tissue is made up of fat cells (adipocytes). These tissues have distinct structures and functions in the body.
What often occurs is a change in your body composition. When you engage in strength training and build muscle, you may appear more toned and leaner. Conversely, when you stop exercising and consume excess calories, you may gain fat, which can lead to a less lean appearance.
Myth or Fact: You must do static stretching before you workout
The idea that you must do static stretching before a workout has been a common practice in the past, but current research and recommendations have evolved, suggesting that dynamic stretching and other warm-up methods may be more effective and safer.
Dynamic stretching involves active movements that mimic the motions you’ll perform during your workout. It helps increase blood flow to muscles, raises your heart rate, and prepares your body for more intense activity. Examples of dynamic stretches include leg swings, arm circles, and hip rotations. Dynamic stretching is generally considered more effective for warming up before workouts compared to static stretching.