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Three Exercise and Dietary Myths

Time to do some Myth Busting!

There are quite a few common misconceptions in the health and fitness industry. Here are three common fitness / diet myths that need to be debunked.

1. Eat a lot of protein to gain muscle = Myth

Protein is the muscle's building block, but its not the only thing muscles need. Protein helps to repair torn muscle tissue. You also need vitamins and nutrients from eating a balanced diet. Too much protein in a diet can cause dehydration, overwhelm the kidneys and stress the heart. Plus a high meat diet will make you feel plain crappy due to all the bacteria in meat, and won't give you the energy required for intense lifting sessions. Instead, aim for a balance of all healthy food groups.

2. Sweating means you are working out harder = Myth

Not true. Sweat is a mechanism used to cool the body, it doesn't burn much calories. The amount of work you can do DECREASES when your body is using some of your energy to produce sweat. Furthermore, energy is lost by sweating because it causes the blood supply to rush toward the skin and away from the muscles - resulting in more muscle fatigue. The heart responds by pumping harder, to replace the blood from the muscles. Too much sweating can also cause dehydration, heat stroke or collapse. Don't induce sweat. It really makes no contribution to fitness.

3. Eating food at night is more fattening = Myth

Your body doesn't tell the time. It doesn't care if you eat after 9 PM. This common myth comes from the idea that you won't have time to burn off food before bed. However, recent studies show that it's not the time you eat but how much is consumed in a 24 hour period. If you're eating within your caloric range, typically 1,800 to 2,000, then you are fine! Skipping meals and binging before you sleep leads to weight gain but if you can't eat a good meal until after work, it won't make you store any more fat than the people who eat their biggest meal for lunch. Besides, we burn fat all of the time, even when we sleep.

Sleeping burns 69 calories per hour. It is not a lot, but its handy to know.

Sitting and doing a minor task is approx 60 calories per hour.

Walking at 2 mph is 175 calories per hour.

Sleeping for 8 hours = 552 calories burned.
Sitting for 12 hours = 720 calories burned.
Walking for 4 hours = 700 calories burned.

Total 1,972

Note: All calorie estimates based on someone who weighs 155 lbs.

Thus it is possible that if you eat healthy and just walk 4 hours every day as part of your routine that you can maintain your weight. However many people don't actually walk for 4 hours per day unless its part of their job. Many people in North America walk less than 2 hours per day and spend most of their time sitting behind a desk, in front of a TV or computer, or behind the wheel of a car.

And if they're binging on food then their waistline will be ever expanding.

Just a single hour of intense exercising, only 4% of your day, however can make a huge difference. An hour long swim for example will burn approx. 450 calories alone.

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