Do you know what the most effective ways to improve your fitness are? Many people watch think they do, but sadly fail the test of fitness knowledge when developing a routine to maximize their weight loss. I think much of this is related to our "Infomercial" overload we've been exposed to whereby products are pushed mercilessly and marketed to the unsuspecting public as the answer to all of their weight management blues. I'm sure you've seen some of these TV programs that always seem to broadcast late at night or on Saturdays. There always seems to be a high profile celebrity speaking glowingly about the wonders of a particular exercise machine or weird looking piece of equipment. I wish I could say that nobody buys into what they're selling, but unfortunately that is not true. Infomercial sales are tremendously high right now...even in our bad economy. The most troubling part of this is that there is so much mis-information provided to the viewers as these celebrities shamelessly promote their product...all to make a quick buck.
So What Are Some of the Weight Loss Fallacies Circulating In Our Culture?
For the average person, to separate fact from fallacy in the face of seemingly endless messages all focused on selling a product or system and turning a profit can be a very difficult task. So, what are some of the common misconceptions circulating in our society about the most effective ways to improve your fitness and achieve weight loss success? See how you stack up in the face of these outrageous claims:
Fallacy #1: Crunches are the best way to shrink my bulging gut!
Fact: The truth of the matter is that spot-reducing any area of your body by blasting it through particular exercises will never produce the desired results. The reason for this is because the real issue is not that your stomach needs more attention for it to be whipped back into shape, but instead a need for you to create a caloric deficit significant enough for you to actually begin to shrink those fat cells in your stomach area...and all over your body as well.
Truthfully, our guts (or hips and thighs) bulge because we have fat cells that are being over-stuffed when we consume too many calories over a period of time. Since weight loss is not body-part specific, though we've been led to believe this, we must attack it through a total-body fitness approach. The goal is to burn more calories in any given day than we consume, and over time (ie, a 12-week period of time) we will see some pretty amazing results. That means that you will need to work on reducing your daily calories modestly while also performing regular exercise that includes cardiovascular and resistance training activities. Will your abs eventually look like those on the fitness models on those Infomercials? Probably not...but at least you'll be dealing in reality and not working so hard to try to achieve something that is actually based upon and perpetuates a fallacy...and all to make a quick buck.
Fallacy #2: I can get that beach body I've always wanted without weight training
Fact: Well, that depends upon the quality of your gene pool. Most of us can't just cut calories, and perform cardiovascular exercise only and see good muscle tone like those we see roaming the beach with bulging biceps and that much coveted but most elusive 8-pack of abs. If you want to see good muscle definition and really show off your mid-section in the gym and when you hit the beach in the summer, you will need to put your work in...and that definitely includes some form of resistance training. There are some of us who can eat what we want, and who don't need to set one toe in the gym and can still look pretty amazing...but that aint me. I'm betting that that probably isn't you either. So, for the rest of us, we've got to overload the muscles all over our body, not just in one or two select locations. By doing this, you will create the balanced total-body physique that others will be jealous of. Not only will you experience amazing muscle-building results, you will also improve your fitness and experience more effective weight loss as you work diligently to transform your body.
Fallacy #3: I can get toned and look more muscular by doing more repetitions with lighter weights
Fact: Ladies, we're the ones who often buy into this one hook line and sinker. The sad part about this is that we often use statements like this to avoid working hard in the gym. We know we need resistance training (often because some trainer tells us it's important), so we do the next easiest thing, which is to do the bare minimum and hope for the best. The problem with this approach is that though we might look like we're doing work, we actually aren't. We're certainly not doing enough to get close to the results we want. So, if you want to look more muscular, you will need to bump up your weights and actually break a sweat when you perform your resistance training routine. There's no need to fear that you will develop BIG muscles like the men, because a woman's body doesn't typically respond to intense training like a man's body will. The end result of all the hard work will be a slimmer and more toned body...not a big bulky muscular one.
What Are The Most Effective Ways to Improve Your Fitness So You Can Achieve Weight Loss Success?
The most effective ways to improve your fitness so you can see lasting weight loss include taking a total-body approach that includes both cardiovascular and resistance training activities. Cardiovascular exercises include activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, Rowing, Aerobics, etc...Any activity that raises your heart rate for a minimum of 20 minutes and burns calories while helping promote a healthy heart, lungs, and circulatory system is a good choice. As far as resistance training goes, calisthenics, circuit training, band training, boot camps, and muscle conditioning classes are all good options. The goal with resistance training is to help build your overall muscle tone so that it increases your metabolism. This will enable you to burn more calories over the course of a day than just performing cardiovascular activities alone. One thing that is for sure, if weight loss is your goal, then you want to burn as many calories as you possibly can. That's when weight loss success happens!
By applying what you've learned in this article, it is my sincere hops that you'll be able to utilize the most effective strategies and improve your fitness so that you will achieve successful and lasting weight loss. You'll also be able to differentiate fact from fiction when it comes to the common exercise misconceptions circulating out there regarding the most effective ways to improve your fitness and shed those unwanted pounds.