Have you ever started a new fitness plan and ended up being bombarded with unsolicited advice on what you need or don’t need for you to succeed? Well, you’re not alone.  You’ve probably heard that you need to skip the carbs when working out, only eat after a workout and many more,  While some of these suggestions may not be completely wrong, most of them are misunderstood.

To help you understand the facts, here are some common fitness myths dispelled.

Avoid Carbohydrates at all costs

This is one of the most common myths people have when working out. While most people believe that carbs are the devil, you’ll be surprised to learn that carbohydrates are important as they are your main source of energy. You might be tempted to buy a “low-carb” labelled food not knowing that some of these foods are still high in saturated fats which may wreck your health. Instead of simple carbs such as white bread, opt for complex carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat and quinoa. Remember without carbs, you’ll be devoid of energy and you may end up feeling drowsy.

Running Should Be Exhausting

When you think of someone running, do you think of someone breathlessly going uphill? This doesn’t have to be the case. Running should be at your pace and easy. What’s more, the run should be short to ensure that you are able to run consistently, often, and recover in no time.  If you’re looking to learn more about how many miles you run, you can purchase a fitness tracker. For detailed reviews, check some featured trackers and heart rate monitors as listed on Fitness Exact.

Doing a lot of cardio is the best way to lose fat

Unfortunately, a lot of cardio strips both body fat and muscle.  When you strip muscle tissue, the body becomes inefficient at burning body fat. In order to lose fat, you need to combine both cardio and aerobic exercises.

You can target certain body parts for weight loss

Did your trainer tell you that you can target specific areas to lose fat? The bad news is that this is not always the case. To reduce weight in a certain spot, you need to lower your overall body fat percentage through diet and a combination of different exercises.

Deadlifts will hurt your back

You may have heard that deadlifting may hurt your back. However, what could hurt your back is when you choose to sacrifice the technique shown to move the weight.

You can eat whatever you like as long as you workout

Exercising alone doesn’t warrant you to eat whatever you like. You can only lose weight when you burn off more calories than you consume. Eating a well-balanced diet is crucial to losing weight.

Working out more is better

If you’re spending two hours weight training and the other two on a treadmill, you need to stop. You might not believe it but there’s such a thing as overtraining. It’s important to understand your body and find the right balance between cardio, resistance and a healthy diet. Overtraining could lead to not only injuries, but also other problems in future. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, train for a certain goal or fix an issue, finding a plan that works for you is essential.

Strength training will only make you bulky

If you’re avoiding other forms of exercises simply because you’ll be bulky, you need to seek advice from a trainer. Doing cardio all the time only strips your muscle tone and strength. To change your muscle structure, you need to incorporate weights. Resistance helps you to tighten and tone your muscles, ensuring that you look stronger and leaner.

You should run on a treadmill as opposed to a pavement

While running is a great way to work out your whole body, it can impact the knees as all the body weight lands on your joints and cause stress. This can happen whether you are on a pavement or a treadmill.  To reduce the knee impact, it’s crucial to vary your workout routine. You can ride a stationary bike, use the elliptical machine or do other cardio activities together with running.

Crunches are a must for a six pack

Sadly, crunches alone do not build a six pack. Crunches strengthen the muscles underneath and are only useful at specific times for certain goals. The only way to get those abs is to stick to a clean diet and a good overall workout.

Machines are better than free weights

Most people assume that machines are safer than free weights, but this is not the case. While machines play a huge role in workout routines, they don’t do a lot to strengthen your body.  Both free weights and machines are similar as far as safety is concerned. Make sure that you schedule time for the machines and for the free weights.

These are some of the popular myths people believe about fitness. Be sure to eat clean, vary your workout routine and consult a trainer in case of any questions.