Thanks to the widespread health awareness, people have started taking their health more seriously in recent years. But not everything is clear regarding health and finess, and misinformation abounds.

Image credits: Little Rock Air Force Base.

In most European countries, universal healthcare is provided by the state, whereas in places like the US, people have to pay for it themselves. The US is not alone in this — if anything it resembles the developing world. For instance, a health insurance policy in India is not free or government-sponsored. People buy it as per their insurance needs. But regardless of whether or not you have healthcare, prevention trumps treatment, and the best thing you can do is to try to stay as healthy as possible. This is where exercise steps in.

Being inactive and stationary has drastic health implications. Our bodies are designed to be used. Our ancestors used to exert themselves while performing various activities like gathering food. In true sense, they used to make optimum use of their bodies. No wonder they used to be more fit and than we are today.

The definition of fitness is very subjective. For some, it’s all about looks; for some, it’s about feeling fit and super-energetic. Healthwise, it’s very important to be fit and active. Otherwise, the sedentary lifestyles, imbalanced diets, and irregular sleeping cycles can easily take a toll on our health.

A myth is more of a statement that isn’t a proven fact but people tend to believe it anyway. Health-related myths are widespread and believed by many. Mentioned below are 5 enduring fitness and health myths that science has busted.

Myth 1 – Working out once or twice a week is all you need to be fit

While this does offer some benefits, working out just once or twice a week isn’t all you need. You should have at least 30 active minutes every day. Ideally, you should do some form of exercise every day, especially if you have a 9 to 5 office job. Sitting for longer durations exposes your body to various health hazards.

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Myth 2 – Only Exercise can help you shed those extra pounds

A healthy diet is a vital part of a healthy life.

Managing your nutrition is essential for weight management. Exercise, when paired up with the right nutrition, can help you achieve you achieve your fitness goals. In case you want to shed those extra pounds, only working out won’t likely help. While working out make you fitter and healthier, it puts stress on your body. In order to cope up with the stress, your body needs proper nutrition. Without proper nutrients, the body starts losing muscle, which isn’t good for your health.

Myth 3 – Women shouldn’t lift weights

This is the most bizarre fitness and health-related myth ever. Weight training is an excellent tool to develop strength in your muscle. Just like men, women also have muscles. So, they need to lift some weight to get in shape. Many women avoid lifting weights because they don’t want the “lifter body” — as if a few weights would instantly bulk you up. Just think that those women worked for years and years with that particular goal in mind.

Myth 4 – You can eat anything just because you work out

This is a big ‘no’ and works hand in hand with Myth 2 — the diet and exercise need to go hand in hand. If you don’t want to waste your hard work and the efforts that you put into exercising, then don’t give in to the cravings. The workout will help you achieve your fitness goal only if you watch what and how much you eat.

Since you work out, you need balanced nutrition more than ever. Your body needs essential nutrients to charge up for the rigorous work out that you do on a daily basis. If you eat junk and fast food, you will go breathless even during the warm-up session at the gym.

While you will get a cheat day in a week, fitness experts recommend controlling your portions. This way your taste buds will be satisfied and your cravings would not mess up with your fitness.

Myth 5 – Sports drinks are a must have to re-hydrate post a workout

Typically, sports drinks contain nothing but water and sugar. That means that they’re empty, unhealthy calories. The instant kick of energy you feel after drinking a sports drink is due to sugar only. Replace your sports drink with coconut water and see the difference. Otherwise, you can go for plain water and hydrate your body post workout.

In a Nutshell

It is rightly said that Health is wealth. Being healthy has many perks. It slows down the aging process; it gives you the energy to do more; it keeps you in a good shape and most importantly, it keeps your mood happy.

Fitness is not a destination; it’s a journey that seems difficult. In reality, it is not that difficult. All you have to do is a break from your unhealthy habits and have lots of patience.