This month is the first of a 2 part article where Jo explains some common exercise myths:
Exercise myth: to burn the most calories, focus on cardiovascular training
The reality: Both weight training and cardiovascular training burn calories, but lifting weights boosts your metabolism for up to 24 hours after you work out. Depending on the intensity of your workout and your fitness level, your body will continue to consume additional oxygen, and therefore burn calories, as it returns to its pre-exercise state. For best results, do interval training combinations of cardio and weight training - on one or two days, along with traditional cardio the rest of the week
Exercise myth: rest between sets
The reality: Stopping to rest for a minute or so after every exercise can sabotage results. Too much rest lets lactic acid disperse, and muscle growth (and tone and definition) requires lactic acid. Instead, keep up the intensity by moving quickly from one exercise to the next. You should be almost recovered but not completely. If you can do 15 reps the first set, but find the next 2 sets more challenging, you're on the right track.
Exercise myth: crunches will give you the best abs!
The reality: The core muscles include the whole midsection - front, back and sides. Crunches hit the rectus adominis muscles in front [that make up the six packs] and the obliques on the sides, but do little for the deeper muscle groups. Instead of just doing crunches, mix it up with planks and twisting exercises that work the entire core. It'll also help make those boring abdominal workouts more interesting!
Look out for more Exercise Myths (part 2) next month.