Home Fitness What You Don’t Know about Your Fitness Mistakes

What You Don’t Know about Your Fitness Mistakes

by Rachna

Have you noticed how despite really upping the ante, you seem to make no progress towards your health and fitness goals? It frustrates especially those who have been at it for so long and yet don’t see adequate results. Well here is what you don’t know about your mistakes which could be sabotaging your fitness regime:

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Exercising on an empty stomach is harmful:

No you don’t burn fat if you workout on an empty stomach. You will feel weak and have a risk of injury not to mention slowing down your metabolism. Never do that. You need the energy to sustain exercise and later need a hearty meal to replenish lost nutrients and repair damage.

Doing abdominal exercises to tone your tummy does not work:

You can never lose fat from a spot. So going overboard with those crunches will do nothing for the big layer of fat on your abdomen. Strength train your entire body especially large muscle groups. As you lose fat all over, your abdomen will get trimmer too. Working on your core with Pilates and Yoga help with stability and balance and keep the spine strong.

Only doing cardio will not make you trim:

You need to do a mix of strength training and cardio to lose fat, strengthen your muscles, make your bones strong and also have a leaner body. Cycling, treadmill, brisk walk, swimming are all forms of cardio. They will not help with sagging. To tone, lift weights or work against your body weight.

Lifting weights does not make you bulky:

This is especially true for women. Don’t worry you will not become bulky or get bulging muscles with lifting weights. For that you will have to train really hard like athletes, weight lifters or boxers. What you will see is better definition on your body and active muscles that you will help you burn calories even when you are resting.

Just doing one kind of exercise does not work:

The body needs variety. It needs to be challenged constantly or it stagnates. So constantly vary the exercise that you do. If you brisk walk, increase the distance traveled or the pace of walk or add a small jog. Make sure your body gets new and different things to do. The same applies to any regimen you do.

Exercise makes you less anxious:

I have experienced this very often. Due to release of the happy hormones, endorphins, you feel lighter and relaxed after a workout. If you suffer from anxiety, turn to exercise.

Hope you went from not knowing to knowing, understanding and bettering your fitness regimen.

Featured pic courtesy: Shutterstock

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Jaibala Rao August 2, 2016 - 11:27 am

Yes! I remember faced with all these myths when I first started training in 2006. That is the time I learned from experience. Now that I am back working out regularly, it is so much easier to understand and accept the myths for what they are – just myths.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 2:38 pm

Glad that you have the knowledge, Jai. So many people I know are still caught up in these myths.

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Beat About The Book August 2, 2016 - 12:43 pm

I like this series you’re doing Rachna. I have managed to finally realise the truth in all of those points after years and years of trying various shortcuts and one-point measures to lose fat. None of them work in isolation. Sigh!

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 2:38 pm

Thanks, Tulika. I am enjoying writing these posts as well. I have also learned through a lot of experience, courses and reading books. Hope that others benefit.

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Aparna George August 2, 2016 - 1:10 pm

Superb points every one of them Rachna, I was nodding my head along to each one as I read the post :). I figured out so much of this by trial and error (in fact am still learning I would say), that I think it’s a great idea that you’ve put them all in one place. Fitness is on a lot of our minds, and it’s so important that we approach it right.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 2:39 pm

Thanks, Aparna. So lovely to see you here. You are right. We are all learning and I hope that we all pay more attention to our approaches as you’ve mentioned.

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kalaravi16 August 2, 2016 - 1:49 pm

Fabulous pointers Rachna! Yes, I have experienced that spot reduction seldom happens. You’ve busted some age-old myths about weight loss and fitness regimes.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 12:13 pm

Thanks, Kala. Glad that you liked the post.

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upasna1987 August 2, 2016 - 2:01 pm

Gym persons don’t reveal these truths. Its great that you are sharing them openly here. It will help people a lot.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 12:13 pm

Thank you, Upasana. All lessons learned through a lot of experience and reading.

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Lata Sunil August 2, 2016 - 3:33 pm

Very useful info Rachna. It should bust some myths.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 11:59 am

Thanks, Lata. I hope so.

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Shailaja V August 2, 2016 - 5:23 pm

Working as I am on fitness right now, this post is a gold mine for me and am bookmarking this and yesterday’s post as reference. I think I need to pick up Rujuta’s book for sure. Will call you to check which one to start with.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 11:59 am

Thanks, Shy. I am glad you are finding these posts useful. I would recommend all her books. 🙂 But you can start with Don’t lose out workout which will bust a bunch of myths and is very relatable.

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inquisitivegeet August 2, 2016 - 5:55 pm

Yes, we sure did! But what to eat before the exercise? Most of the exercises are done without eating right? Enlighten me please!
And the above information is very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

Cheers
Geets

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 11:58 am

Unless you are doing Yoga which requires you to do certain asanas on an empty stomach, do not exercise hungry. For aerobics, strength training, brisk walking etc. have a banana 15-20 minutes in advance with water. You could have a light meal of carbohydrates 15-20 minutes before exercise. I almost always have banana or a couple of slices of bread with jam. Hope that helps.

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Rajlakshmi August 2, 2016 - 6:44 pm

Brilliant post Rachna… When I started working out I too used to believe that you can reduce fat from spots. How stupid !!! Later on I realised one needs to reduce overall body fat percentage to even see some result. I love mixing exercises … some music and dance too helps. When friends come over we have Dance Central (Xbox) competitions. Fun and fitness all together.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 11:56 am

You are a rockstar, Raj. We all believed in these crazy myths at some point in our lives but luckily we got wiser. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post.

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Shilpa Garg August 2, 2016 - 7:01 pm

That busted a few myths. Being healthy and following some fitness regime is on our minds always. But are we doing it right? Mostly not! Thanks for sharing some fab info!

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 2:40 pm

Thanks, Shilpa. Glad that you liked the post.

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sunainabhatia August 2, 2016 - 7:39 pm

Good points we often forget when we are grumpy…..

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 11:48 am

Thanks, Sunaina. Yes, indeed!

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pythoroshan August 2, 2016 - 8:44 pm

again an absolutely wonderful informative article.. saving on pinterest and pocket for future references… if I ever do decide to give my body a chance :\

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 11:48 am

Thanks. I hope you do give your body a chance, doc.

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Sid Balachandran August 2, 2016 - 9:42 pm

Excellent points – esp the first one about not exercising on an empty stomach. I really don’t know why people do it. Or hit the gym right after eating.

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 11:33 am

Thanks, Sid. I think it stems from the same logic that if you starve your body, you will lose more weight. We all know how very stupid that is.

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Vidya Sury August 3, 2016 - 1:01 pm

Absolutely true. Even on the same equipment, experts recommend mixing it up and adding variety – for example: on the treadmill, play with incline, speed walking, jogging. I try my best. 🙂 And yes, everyone thinks weightlifting automatically pumps up the muscles. 🙂

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Rachna August 3, 2016 - 2:41 pm

Exactly, Vidya! I am so glad that we are so much better informed now.

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Rahul Bhatia August 12, 2016 - 9:34 am

That was a crisp list, Rachna:)

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Rachna August 12, 2016 - 9:44 am

Thanks, Rahul!

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Ashvini Naik April 6, 2018 - 8:09 pm

Great pointers, Rachna!

Especially the myth that says one must exercise on an empty stomach to burn more calories is way too ridiculous. It’s really important to pay equal attention to pre- & post-workout snacks/drinks to maintain the desired energy levels & prevent burnouts.

And like you mentioned about this strange fixation of ‘spot fat reduction’ is true. We never lose fat from only the targeted problem areas. Fat reduction is a steady process that happens gradually over a sensible period of time upon proper exercising; unless & until it’s a liposuction/ bariatric surgery!

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