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Sweating Hard + 10 Exercise Myths

Everyone enjoys a good sweat during their workout (myself included). It feels great and the sweat cools you down. but sweating doesn't necessarily mean you are getting the best workout for your body.

Sweat is simply a cooling mechanism that is designed to cool your body when your internal temperature rises. We sweat in a sauna, and when eating spicy food, but that's not a good workout, is it?

When a person exercises, the body responds to the exertion, rather than the amount you are sweating. For example weight lifting is one of the best forms of exercise for a long term metabolic increase, defining the muscles, and providing all around benefits in terms of aesthetics, practical training and prevention for injury and disease in later life. But the sweat you are sweating during weightlifting is no more valuable than sweating while suntanning yourself at the beach. Sweat doesn't burn calories.

Swimming is a great example of a high exertion, sweat-free exercise. You don't sweat while swimming because water does the job of cooling you down.

Exerting your body means challenging yourself and using functional exercises that not only gets a person in great shape but also assist with body awareness, which assists in tuning the body for daily activities. Not to mention injury and chronic condition prevention. By gaining balance, co-ordination and increasing bone density, even if you do say, slip on the ice while skating (but you won't because you have such great balance and co-ordination!) your body will be able to better handle the fall with stronger bones and connective tissue.

Some sweaty exercises like running and cycling can cause you to lose a lot of sodium in the process so remember to take an energy drink like Powerade or Gatorade with you.

Don't use energy drinks like Cheetah Power Surge and similar crap with ginseng flavouring or lots of caffeine. The caffeine just dehydrates you and the flavouring is just that - flavouring. No nutritional benefit.

10 Exercise Myths

#1. Spot Reducing Exercises Don't Work

So you want to get rid of your flabby stomach fat and you want to do it by doing sit-ups? HA! Sorry, but spot reducing exercises don't do that. Sit-ups builds muscles in your stomachs, making your stomach look even bigger. If you want to reduce fat go running, cycling or swimming. Do cardio!

#2. Your cardio machine is NOT counting the calories you're burning.

Unless the machine knows your weight, height and your body fat percentage then it really has no clue how many calories you are burning.

#3. Women will NOT Bulk Up and look like Men by Lifting Weights

Lifting weights doesn't cause women to bulk up the way men do. Two reasons. First, female bodybuilders use steroids to bulk up like that. Second, female muscle tissue is different from men's - a difference of quality vs quantity. Women's muscle tissue can lift more per gram than male muscle tissue and is more resistant to ripping. Male muscle tissue rips easily and then due to higher testosterone levels men build new muscle tissue in-between the old ripped tissue. Women who lift weights will build extra muscle, but because of the type of muscle tissue they are building they won't bulk up the way men do.

#4. Heart Rate Monitors do NOT measure Exertion

Heart rate monitors do not measure how much exertion you are doing. Various exercises effect your blood pressure less than others, despite requiring more exertion. Instead your own body is better at telling you how much exertion you are doing. One way to do this is the TALK TEST. The talk test can measure how intensely you're working out depending on whether you can talk in full sentences, short phrases or if you're barely able to muster a few words.

#5. Your Weight Fluctuates Day to Day

You eat, you drink, you sweat, you urinate, you take a #2. Your weight fluctuates a lot in a single day, and thus measuring your weight on scales every day is not going to see much in terms of change. Check your weight at a specific time of day once per week (eg. Friday morning before breakfast) and then record the changes.

#6. High Intensity Exercises still DO burn fat

There is a myth going around that it is better to do low intensity workouts because they burn more fat and less carbs. This is only partially true. It is true that the more intensely you exercise, the higher proportion of carbs you burn. You may burn less fat, but the total amount of calories burned is higher and that is the bigger picture.

And if you don't burn the carbs it just gets stored as fat anyway. So it doesn't really matter if you are burning fat or carbs, because carbs ends up becoming fat if you don't use it. So you might as well do higher intensity exercises if you have the energy / motivation to do so.

#7. Protein Shakes do NOT make a replacement for real food.

You're actually better off eating real food because you get more nutrients and vitamins from eating a normal healthy meal. Protein shakes are really just meant to be used as supplements on top of a regular healthy diet.

#8. Going to the Gym does NOT Negate eating poorly.

Its actually the opposite. Bad diet negates your efforts at the gym and will hold you back because you won't be getting the nutrients to replace muscle tissue you ripped at the gym. If you go to the gym and then pig out on ice cream later you aren't just hindering yourself, you are hurting yourself because that is muscle tissue that won't regrow properly since you failed to eat a healthy balanced meal.

#9. No Pain, No Gain is NOT a way to measure exertion.

Some people think that they have to be in pain all the time while exercising otherwise they aren't achieving anything. Complete myth. Feeling discomfort during a workout is okay. Feeling pain after a workout happens sometimes if you over-exert yourself. If you are in a lot of pain you should NOT be exercising. Stop doing that before you pass out or injure yourself.

#10. Stretching does NOT prevent sports injuries.

There is a growing body of research which shows that stretching before exercising does not prevent sports injuries. The best time to do stretches is actually AFTER a workout, or DURING a workout to relieve muscle tension.

If you want to do anything before a workout do a series of warmup exercises, such as high knee jogs, walking lunges and similar warmup exercises. Keep the stretching for your mid-workout break or after the workout.

Having better flexibility does help prevent injuries, but stretching before a workout doesn't prevent such things from happening. Stretching after a workout helps stretch out ligaments and maintain your flexibility. Its meant to be done AFTER the workout.

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