As the New Year rolls along, you can bet that almost every resolution you hear includes the iron clad “get healthy” resolution at the top of the list. Your gym, which is normally far below maximum capacity is now bursting at the seams with people and it’s miserable for the first two weeks of the year, but if you have a bit a patience it will return to normal by week three. Why? Because believing the following workout myths will keep the results at bay and people quickly lose motivation.
We’ve all been there, starting the year off with good intentions to hit the gym 3-4 days per week, eat healthy and be a healthier version of you. Right?! So why does it fizzle so quickly? Do we really understand how to achieve better overall health and more importantly, maintain it? Achieving an overall healthy lifestyle is easier than you think if you ignore these common myths:
Myth #1: I don’t have time to workout
I hear this myth all the time. “I don’t have time to work out.” Truth be told, you can start on a path toward better health by simply adding 30 minutes of activity to your day.
The activity doesn’t have to be in the gym, you can pick something that fits comfortably into your current lifestyle. A few healthy options include walking your dog, taking your shorter breaks at work to walk laps around the building outside, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the store. You will see your efforts will make you feel better and you will want to increase your time naturally.
Myth #2: I’d have to spend hours at the gym to see results
Okay, I get it. Walking isn’t your thing but you have a gym membership you’ve been paying on for six years yet have never stepped foot in the gym. Why? Because ain’t nobody got time to spend hours in the gym. I hear you and I’ve got good news and bad news; the bad news is that you can’t get that money back but the good news is, you CAN start utilizing the gym and I challenge you to start with only 45 minutes.
Start with a 20 minute cardio warmup like a brisk walk on the treadmill or elliptical then move on to free weights for the remaining 25 minutes. Voila! You just kick-started your healthy gym habit and a got a workout in less than an hour.
Myth #3: I can achieve results by doing only cardio or strength training
You’ve got your favorite type of workout, I get it because I do too. But, only focusing on cardio or strength and not creating a workout that incorporates both will leave you frustrated. You can drop weight with cardio but you will hit a plateau and if you aren’t toning at the same time you will find yourself with flabby skin. Toning with no cardio will only get you so far, so do yourself a favor and add in a healthy mix of both for maximum results.
Myth #4: I work out regularly so I can eat whatever I want
I believe this is the biggest myth of all. Many people believe they can eat whatever as long as they are pounding it out at the gym and it’s simply not true. Diet accounts for about 80% which is a HUGE part of whether you will be successful in achieving overall health.
Research has proven that you can lose and maintain a healthy weight by modifying how you eat. Notice I didn’t say how much you eat, rather how you eat. It’s not about dieting, depriving yourself or eating less. It’s about eating more of the foods that are good for you: healthy carbs, protein, leafy vegetables and fruits.
Making simple substitutions at meal time will sustain a long term healthy lifestyle change. If you feel you are eating healthy but the weight isn’t budging, try keeping a food journal – you may be surprised to find that you could make small modifications to get on the right track.
Myth #5: It’s too expensive to be healthy
Let’s think about this – gyms cost money, eating healthy foods that you purchase from a store and prepare costs more than pulling in a drive-thru so the two combined equals more expensive, right? Wrong. With the increase of pop up gyms that cater to those who want a low cost solution, you can get a gym membership with no monthly contract for $10 a month or better yet get out and walk for free or purchase DVD’s to work out at home.
Food prices continue to rise and although healthy options can be higher than buying pre-packaged food, you can save in this area as well. Plan your meals around the weekly sales, stock up on fruits and veggies from your local farmer’s market and buy your meat in bulk. Let’s face it, the cost of being unhealthy far outweighs that of being healthy when you add up ailments, doctor co-pays and prescription costs.
Creating a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. With the minor tweaks that I mention and a dedication to dispelling these myths you will be on your path to overall better health in no time.
Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com