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Are you living with these fitness misconceptions?

Are you living with these fitness misconceptions?

I am fit and fine. I am slim. I go for walk and do jogging to remain fit.  I don’t have any health related problems.

Do I need to do strength (weight) training in the gym?

Well the answer is YES.

  • Yes, if you wish to keep your muscles strong (Your heart is also made up of muscles)
  • Yes, if you wish to maintain the health of your skeletal system. Stronger muscles support our skeleton system better. (To avoid Osteoporosis or knee replacement like old age disorders)
  • Yes, if you wish to change your muscle to fat ratio (Slim is not fit, Muscle to fat ratio decides the fitness)
  • Yes, if you wish to use the calories you have over consumed.

There are many myths and misconceptions about the fitness. The result is most of us remain confused and action-less or do whatever we are comfortable with or can be done easily.

  • Slim means fit. No need for exercise.
  • No disease NOW means no disease in FUTURE also.
  • Walking keeps me fit, so I only do walking.
  • Jogging is what I do regularly.
  • I do Yoga and that is enough to keep me fit.

The fact is, no one type of exercise can train the body completely.

One needs all types of exercise like cardiovascular (Walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics), strength training (weight training in the Gym), flexibility training (Yoga, stretching etc.), breathing exercise (Pranayama) to remain fit or atleast to make an attempt to remain fit.

Most of us, if at all, are indulging in cardio and flexibility training which are good, but not sufficient for overall long-term fitness goal.

The science of strength training is something like this;

When we do weight training, our muscles break down. This process consumes calorie. These broken down muscles are built again during our rest period.  This activity also consumes calorie. Therefore, by doing weight training, we lose fat even when we are not doing any exercise. This fat is replaced by growth in muscles due to weight training. The more the muscles more the consumption of calorie. Therefore, weight training is the best form of exercise for fat loss. This is a virtuous cycle for fat loss.

Remember, weight loss is useful only if we are losing the body fat and not if we are losing muscle.  The person doing weight training may not look lean and slim, but he is fitter than the person of similar weight and height not doing weight training.  In both body ratios of fat to muscle is different. The slim person with more fat and less muscles is prone to many diseases/disorders.

This benefit of fat burning during the rest and building muscle strength is not available with cardiovascular or flexibility training. Our body can use calorie with excessive cardio exercise, but that is only while doing the exercise not thereafter & the issue of stronger muscles still remains unanswered.

& if you don’t do weight training, losing muscles is a natural process as we age. Similarly, as we lose muscle as we age, we replace the same with fat as we are not doing anything to use the excess fat we consume.

Now if you wish to look slimmer without losing muscle, and by reducing the fat, the right weight training with the right diet can be a good combination.  Of course, weight training should be supported with the right supplements and nutrition. Remember, weight training must be done under the guidance of the right trainer in the Gym.

There is one more misconception.

People who go to the gym, go to build Salman Khan like muscles or SRK like six pack abs.

The reality is weight training is one of the most essential parts of the fitness we are ignoring in favour of walking and Yoga. However, all forms of exercise are complementary and necessary. The one without the other is not complete. (Checkout your lunch dish for variety and wholesomeness. Do you consume Only Roti or Only Rice? Then why only walking and only Yoga?)

Do not settle with the myths and maintain the body as per your whims and fancy, but do something to find out the truth. The people who go to the gym daily, do exercise and sweat out are not fools. Many unwanted health conditions can be avoided by regular combination of exercise. For many, the cost of the treatment of the disease may not be an issue, but suffering which the disease brings is an issue for everybody and even for the friends and relatives of the sufferer.

All of us are running after building wealth for the future and have no time for anything else either family or fitness, but remember monetary wealth without the matching health will not be of much use except bearing the cost of treatment.

There is a famous quote of Jack Lalanne,

“Exercise is king and nutrition is queen. Put them together and you have a kingdom.”

(Jack Lananne is known as the godfather of fitness).

Unfortunately, we are out to build a kingdom without a king or queen.

Sunil Gandhi
Sunil Gandhi

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