5 Fitness Myths Your Friends Keep Bringing Up… and we Still Hate

by Coach Amelia

There is a LOT of misinformation out there in the fitness industry. Of course, we all know this. But, what's confusing is that the myths keep coming and they often look like the truth! The media, websites, blogs, and even trainers (yes, trainers) are out there perpetuating the problems. Why? Well, sometimes ignorance sells. It's great to place blame in places that 'should' make sense. Of COURSE you gained 3 pounds because you after after 8:16pm last night. Oh, you DEFINITELY need that new blueberry super fab fitness shake for $29.99 to 'tone up'. And, who knows why you're the only one that hasn't lost any weight on your 3 hour daily walks. Sound silly? It is! Here are 5 fitness myths that your friends, family and even the internet keeps bringing up. They're full of it. Let's keep FIT simple.

1. Doing abdominal exercises will cause you to LOSE belly fat.

We can't blame you here, this sounds AWESOME. Knock out 200 crunches a day and you're golden, right? Unfortunately, wrong. We don't get to decide where our body fat decreases first, this is mostly decided by genetics. But, that's not altogether bad news! Weight training is a part of the answer here; it's key for boosting metabolism, gaining lean muscle mass and torching body fat. Solid, consistent nutrition is the bigger part of the answer. Feed your body fitly, not fatly. And stop doing crunches. Yes, really. There are much better core-centric exercises you should be knockin' out to cut the fats and up your fitness level!

2. Women will get bulky if they lift heavy, they should be 'toning'.

Ok, did you know 'toning' is a word from the 80's? Can you think of any other ridiculous terms from that decade that we laugh at now? Everyone was also eating low-fat everything then too, look where that got us (don't know? stay tuned, more on that soon). There is no such thing as toning. Women will not get bulky if they lift heavy. You will not get bulky if you lift heavy. If you add a well written weight training program (we know exactly how to help here) to your fitness plan, along with solid nutrition, you will torch the fat that currently hangs out on top of your strong muscles. Even better, that muscle will grow and look LONG and LEAN. Not big and bulky.

3. Fat turns into muscle. I'm not exactly sure why this is still 'a thing', but to this day I see it in dozens of Facebook groups (find a GOOD source of info on our FB Page). People still believe (from one 'trusted' magazine article to another) that this process is as simple as fat to muscle and muscle to fat. You're lucky it's not, that sounds terrible. So what DOES happen? There are two distinct processes when shaping up. One, we create a caloric deficit through our activity to LOSE fat. Two, we eat at or over our caloric to gain muscle. 'So wait, are you saying BOTH don't happen at once?' Well, not always. BUT, usually. If your goal is to lose body fat, then we create a program through training and nutrition that will allow you to lose fat which will SHOW that hard earned MUSCLE!

4. Don't eat fat if you want to lose fat. Did you see the mention about those 'low-fat' foods of the 80's. Well, that info is extremely dated. Welcome to 2016. You need to consume certain types of fats to LOSE fat. Ditch the low fat foods, there's a good chance they're doing more harm than good. Fats are important in that they regulate hormones (this is GOOD) and make use of necessary vitamins. Hey, fats also help regulate your appetite, this is clutch! Look for healthy fats in nuts, avocado, and EVOO. We'll talk more about this soon, but for now let's keep it simple. Eat fat to lose fat. Check the portion size of your favorite healthy fatty foods before you dip into that sugary peanut butter jar.

5. Don't eat after 8pm if you want to lose weight. This is another myth that seems to just stick around year after year. Your body does not know what time it is. Trust me. Let's step back a moment and think. What types of foods do folks usually eat after 8pm? Mhmm. Now you see where we're going with this. Late night menus usually consist of ice cream, candy, chips, dip, 1... maybe 2 bottles of wine, extra large burritos and worse. It doesn't matter WHAT time you consume those things, they'll usually put you into a large calorie overload for the day not to mention sending your body into a downward spiral of internal health. Prepare some healthy snacks if you get late night munchies (ahead of time). Eat properly throughout the day (starving yourself won't get you anywhere) so you're not reaching for whatever is in a 2 foot radius come 9pm.

We could go on for pages about the horrible, terrible, no good 'fitness information' you're being inundated with on a daily (almost hourly, thanks to social media) basis. Unfortunately, this is an industry of 'everyone is an expert'. Including friends, friends of friends and your 93 year old grandmother. We'll bring you more and more real information to keep you on the right side of your fitness. Stick around!

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Want to contact Coach Amelia? Shoot her an email at amelia@livingfitly.com

Why are we running to be fit, when we need to be fit to run?

by: Coach Katie

Summer is officially in full swing, which means we're smack dab in running season. With the great weather, everyone gets out and starts really racking up their mileage, working to prepare for that road race or Tough Mudder they most likely regret signing up for. The road race atmosphere can be fun and usually the registration money is going to a good cause, so I understand why people are encouraged to sign up and participate. However, I don’t understand why people think that running is the best form of exercise to “get fit.”

Getting “Fit” can have a different meaning to everyone. Most people associate getting fit with losing weight and obtaining that beach body, but as we get older our purpose begins to shift. We start to focus more on feeling better, moving more efficiently and improving our overall quality of life. Although long distance running is known to improve cardiovascular health, the excessive impact it has on the joints can cause pain, especially when running with improper movement patterns. The positive health benefits of running are soon masked by the discomfort and pain, and then we stop running because the goal of feeling better and moving more efficiently had not been achieved.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you that running is bad, but it is not what we need if we are trying to look better, feel better and move more efficiently. To improve our overall fitness and quality of life, we need to start training functionally and learn proper progression of training to prevent injury or pain. Here are four important tips to consider when exercising that will help you improve your strength and decrease your risk of injury, so when you do decide to run those long distances your body is ready and you are fit enough to run.

1. Pick Total Body Exercises

Pick total body exercises to incorporate into your training routine. Squat, deadlifts, Pulls and Lunge movements incorporate more muscle group and larger muscles allowing you to burn more calories and challenge the body as a whole.

2. Create a program

Once you pick the exercises, create a program. Develop an appropriate number of sets and repetitions that will challenge you. Here are a few examples of programming that can be beneficial when incorporating strength training exercises.

3x10         4x8         3x12         4x6         2x15         2x20

3. Consistency

Once you have developed your program, follow it. Being consistent with your program will allow you to achieve your overall fitness goals. Incorporate the training program into the schedule and get it done. The more consistent you are the more results you will see!

4. Challenge Yourself

The body is constantly adapting to your training program. Once you become comfortable with form and technique and the exercises feel easy, add some resistance. Adding weight to an exercise can be a great way to make an exercise more challenging.

Getting fit looks differently for everyone and running is a fantastic tool to find YOUR fit. Just remember, as with any fitness program, it's important to plan and structure your training to progress not regress. Hit that pavement with confidence and a plan!

Still unsure how to get started? Not sure if you trust your plan? Hey, that's what we're here for. We dig creating custom training programs for you, your specific needs, events and challenges.

Contact Coach Katie