Have You Fallen for These 6 Fitness Myths? (Yahoo)

Posted: Mar 17, 2023 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Yahoo on March 17, 2023.


Have You Fallen for These 6 Fitness Myths?

By Brittany Risher

Given our modern era of social media influencers and unofficial fitness “experts,” it’s not surprising that so many falsehoods about exercise persist. No matter how many researchers publish good studies debunking these myths, a fair number of people still believe you'll always lose more weight by exercising at a lower intensity, or that working out first thing in the morning is vastly superior to sweating it out any other time of the day. When everything appears so confusing, contradictory, or complex, it can seem easier to not even bother working out. But don’t despair: With the help of real fitness experts and scientific research, we’ve busted six common exercise myths. With these facts, you can be more confident about your workouts and get fitter faster.

Myth #1: You should exercise in the fat-burning zone if you want to lose weight.

Your body taps into different primary sources of energy when you exercise at certain heart rates. During higher-intensity workouts, your body burns more carbohydrates than fat. During lower-intensity workouts, it burns more fat than carbs. So, if you’re trying to shed pounds, some say it’s best to work out in the “fat-burning zone.”

First, this zone isn’t the same for everyone. A 2009 study found that there’s too much variability among individuals to accurately calculate a fat-burning zone outside of a lab setting. And if you ask several fitness experts, each will identify different target heart rates (such as 50 to 65 percent or 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate) as the fat-burning zone.

Second, even if you could properly gauge your “fat-burning zone” on your own, weight loss comes down to burning more calories (and eating fewer as well). Compared to easier workouts, higher-intensity exercise torches more calories both during and after as your body recovers. You may even burn more calories in less time. And that’s what matters if you’re trying to shed pounds, says trainer Chris Gagliardi, CSCS, the scientific education content manager for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Many studies have shown that people (usually those who are overweight) who do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burn a similar amount of fat — in less time — than those doing more moderate sessions.

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