1. Every workout defines your fitness level

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Sometimes, when you exercise, you might come away feeling like you haven’t given your all or pushed yourself hard enough.  But the thing is, you are only human, and it’s completely normal not to be at 100% all of the time.  You have to remember that one extremely difficult workout doesn’t define you or your fitness!

2. You have to be strong to lift weights

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Personal trainers and fitness instructors all over the globe will tell you the same thing: many people say they’re going to get stronger before they start a fitness program, particularly one that involves lifting weights.  But they’ll tell you that in order to get strong, you HAVE to lift weights so don’t put it off!

3. You should give your all to every workout

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It’s important to remember that you don’t have to push yourself hard during every single workout.  There are other factors that will affect how you push yourself, including how you feel, where you are in your menstrual cycle, and how much you have trained during that week.  Being consistent is key but you don’t always have to be at your maximum as it wouldn’t be sustainable.

4. The gym is for people who want to change their body

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A common misconception is that you go to the gym in order to change your body in some way.  Whether it’s shrinking your body down or gaining muscle.  But the thing is, many people go to the gym to socialize, have fun, improve their mental health, or reduce stress, to name a few.  And they couldn’t care less about changing the way their body looks.

5. Fitness and health are aesthetics

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People believe that in order to be fit and healthy, they have to actually look fit and healthy.  But one thing to point out is that your body’s aesthetic doesn’t tell anyone too much about your fitness or health.  And ‘aesthetics’ change with the times anyway.  Like, most recently, images of people with slim waists and sculpted buttocks are constantly fed to us as to what fitness looks like.

6. You should never skip a workout

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Now, in order to see results in anything, you have to be consistent.  That’s a given.  But this doesn’t mean religiously training day in and day out, never allowing yourself to skip a workout.  Sometimes you might not be feeling well enough to train and sometimes you might just want to do something else.  And there’s nothing wrong with that!

7. You need to be highly motivated and committed to a fitness regime

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Physical fitness doesn’t mean training in a gym 24/7 with a trainer, a solid fitness program, equipment, and a restrictive nutrition plan.  To be physically fit, moving your body in any way you choose is enough.  This could be hiking, swimming, or dancing, to name a few!  Just move!

8. Exercising before breakfast burns more fat

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There have been many studies worldwide that have found that if you work out on an empty stomach, you’ll burn more fat than if you did eat.  But other studies have found that this is only in the short term, and if you want longer-lasting effects, you should eat to fuel your body for a workout.  This way, you’re able to push harder during exercise and it increases the amount of energy you use after exercise too!

9. Your workouts need to be an hour long to see any benefit

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A common misconception about fitness is that your exercises should be at least an hour long to see any benefit.  But this just isn’t true!  And many people don’t even have whole hours to spare!  Anything you can do to move your body is good for your overall health and fitness, even if you can only squeeze in 20 minutes at a time!

10. You don’t need extra protein in your diet

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You DO need more protein in your diet when you increase your activity!  And this is because protein gives your body amino acids which are essential for muscle building and recovery!  If you’re active (and here’s some math for you) you should be eating at least 1.2 – 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

11. Exercise is for weight loss and muscle gain

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Exercise isn’t JUST for weight loss and muscle gain.  The thing is, many people want to achieve these goals but there is this lack of understanding of why a lot of people work out.  There are other amazing benefits including boosting your mood, improving stress levels, socializing, learning new skills, and even just having fun!

12. Eating carbs is bad for you

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Carbs have been demonized so often that people actually fear eating them!  But the thing is, you HAVE to eat carbs as part of a balanced diet and to fuel you up before a workout. Healthy options include low-fat yogurt, brown rice, whole-grain bread and pasta, and certain fruits and vegetables.

13. Running can cause osteoarthritis

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A common belief is that running can cause osteoarthritis in the knees.  But medical professionals now know that this is just a myth and they have studied the long-term effects of different types of strenuous exercise, including running.  And do you know what they found?  Well, running actually reduces the risk and also the risk of hip and knee replacements.  Impressive, right?

14. Crossfit causes rhabdo

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Rhabdomyolysis is a really serious condition that can be fatal or result in permanent disability.  It happens after strenuous exercise which may cause electrolytes and proteins to be released into the blood from muscle tissue which causes severe damage to the kidneys and liver.  And the high-intensity exercise of Crossfit has been blamed for causing this.  But the truth is: any exercise can cause rhabdo and the condition is pretty rare.

15. You can eat anything you want as long as you’re working out

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It’s true that you do need to eat more when you’re particularly active because your body needs fuel to participate.  But this doesn’t mean you can gorge on food with high fat and sugar content.  You need to make sure you are eating a balanced diet and getting enough protein and carbs to help you to fuel, build and recover.

16. You’ll get fat if you eat fat

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As part of a balanced diet, eating fat will NOT make you fat.  In fact, your body needs fat to function.  It’s important that you eat healthy fats like the ones found in foods like nuts and seeds, olive oil, fatty fish like salmon, and more!  These are unsaturated fats and are said to actually lower your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease!

17. You shouldn’t exercise during pregnancy

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Pregnancy can make people fear exercise and the worry is that you’ll do harm to your baby or your body as it changes.  But it’s vital for pregnant mothers to continue to exercise as it’s said the reduce backaches, constipation, swelling, and bloating.  You just have to be mindful of the types of exercises you choose to do.

18. Sweating eliminates toxins

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When we’re active, we’re probably familiar with breaking a sweat.  Sweat is made up of mostly water, a bit of salt, protein, carbs, and urea… Not toxins.  So when you sweat, you’re body doesn’t expel toxins because it’s not made of them, it is just there to cool you down!

19. Cardio is best for weight loss

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Cardio workouts will help your body to burn more calories than you consume, but it’s not going to be enough if you want long-lasting and sustainable results.  You also need to do some different types of resistance exercises, like lifting weights or doing body-weight workouts to build muscle.  This is because muscle burns fat.

20. Exercising at night keeps you awake

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Being active makes you feel amazing, and it also helps to promote a good night’s sleep.  But some people believe that working out at night disrupts your sleep pattern.  Thankfully, studies have found that this just isn’t true and just like morning workouts, evening workouts can actually help you to sleep more soundly.

21. Fat-burning belts work

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Fat-burning belts are made to go around your middle and claim to help you to train your waist and burn belly fat.  But studies have found that they just don’t work.  They claim to give you similar results to liposuction but don’t be fooled, all they do is squeeze your waist enough to give temporary results.  And they’re not worth the uncomfortable effort!

22. Lifting heavy will make you bulky

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Many women, in particular, skip heavy weights because they fear that their physique will become too bulky.  But, reassuringly, experts have said that this just wouldn’t happen.  Muscle building does take time and, yes, your body composition will change, but you won’t bulk up unless you really train to bulk up!  You can just train for the results you want.  So lift heavy!

23. Your muscle turns to fat if you have a day off

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Having a day off isn’t the end of your fitness journey, and not working out occasionally is actually a good thing.  It’s so important to remember that you won’t lose your hard-earned results if you rest now and then.  In fact, your body will thank you for it!

24. You should stretch before a workout

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Stretching after a workout is essential but you have to be careful about adding stretches to your warm-up.  This is because static stretches will actually make you weaker and increase the risk of a strain.  So go for more dynamic, ballistic stretches before you exercise.

25. Ab exercises will get you a six pack

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Ab exercises are great for strengthening your core, but doing them alone won’t give you a six-pack.  The truth is, you have to really commit to your six-pack journey if this is your goal, and a mixture of cardio and resistance exercises and a hugely mindful diet will help you to get there.

26. You should exercise to burn off the extra food you ate

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There are occasions when we overindulge, and (shock horror!) we even might occasionally eat too much cake or pizza.  But this doesn’t mean that you have to head straight to the gym and work off all of those extra calories.  As long as you’re generally consistent, treats now and then will actually help you to sustain your health and fitness journey.

27. You’re only an athlete if you’ve got the right physique

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The online definition of an athlete is a person that is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.  Now, where in that commonly accepted definition does it say an athlete must have the right physique or that their fitness regime is their whole life?  It doesn’t!  So it’s more than ok to call yourself one!

28. People with body fat are unhealthy

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News flash: Humans have body fat.  In fact, fat is vital to the overall health of the human body as it acts as a cushion, protecting your internal organs from physical trauma and keeping them stable.  What’s more, fat is energy, and your body needs it.

29. You should go to the gym to work out effectively

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You don’t need a gym membership to stay active and work on your physical fitness.  In fact, you can work out just as effectively at home AND with no fancy equipment.  And the world can be your gym too, you can walk, run, hike, climb, and dance out there.  So don’t let anything hold you back!

30. Rest days aren’t needed

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We all know that one person who works out every single day.  But this could be doing more harm than good!  You see, your body needs rest to recover from strenuous activity and rest days can help you to sustain your fitness routine for longer.  It’s different for everyone so it’s extremely important to make sure you listen to your body and rest when you need to!