If your New Year’s Resolution was to get fit in 2020, you may be feeling discouraged since most gyms and workout studios have been closed for the past several months. Despite that, many people are using their extra free time to focus on themselves and their fitness journey. If you are ready to get serious about your health and fitness in 2020, then it is important to not be fooled by these ten at-home health and fitness myths:
Myth: It is impossible to tone muscles at home without gym equipment
Many avid gym-goers will tell you that you need heavy weights and equipment to build and define your muscles. This is NOT true. When it comes to resistance training, your body is your best friend!
There are many beneficial bodyweight exercises, such as squats, planks, and push-ups that can help you tone without any equipment. Here are ten exercises to do with just a yoga mat or a towel to get you started.
Myth: It is okay to stop exercising for a couple of months because gyms are closed
Although it may be tempting to use gym closings as an excuse for inactivity, you mustn’t stop exercising, as this can be detrimental to your health. Any activity is better than no activity, as long as you keep your body moving in some way during quarantine!
A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that there is indisputable evidence to suggest that regular physical activity contributes to the prevention of many chronic diseases and premature death. The research showed that those who were the most physically active were at the lowest risk for diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (Warbuton et al., 2006).
So, be sure to stay active, however you can, during the quarantine. You can do something as simple as going for a family bike ride or get creative and make your own workouts. Find what works best for you during these crazy times and stick to it to see the most benefits!
Myth: You need to work out for hours and hours to see results
Even though many of us have more free time, many individuals have new time commitments and responsibilities during these uncertain times that may interfere with a consistent workout schedule.
If you do not have time to exercise for hours every day, then you can still see results! High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great form of exercise that is typically done for 30 minutes or less. HIIT has many amazing benefits, and you can do HIIT with little to no equipment. Even if you can only set aside 20 minutes each day to workout, you will still benefit from HIIT and do not need to burn out your body by exercising for hours.
Myth: Online workout classes are expensive and not as beneficial as in-person classes
If you hate to workout on your own and prefer a class environment, you do not have to change your preferences and routine just because workout studios are closed. Most studios are still offering classes that are just as effective as their in-person classes, and you can still benefit from the motivation of other individuals by participating in a Zoom class.
Many studios are also offering free classes! For example, CorePower Yoga offers free online yoga classes, OrangeTheory Fitness offers free resistance training classes, and there are endless other free fitness classes and apps.
Myth: Abdominal exercises are the easiest and most effective home-workout to lose belly fat
If you are committed to toning up and getting fit during quarantine, then do not let fad workouts convince you that you can get a six-pack overnight by doing only ab exercises every day. It may be tempting to only train your abdominals since many core exercises are traditionally done with minimal equipment, like crunches and planks. However, it is not effective to do exclusively ab exercises, and this will not lead to a reduction in belly fat on its own.
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, researchers found that ab exercises like the sit-up cannot be used to decrease the size of fat cells in the abdominal area (Katch et al., 1984). Thus, it is not possible to use ab exercises in isolation to lose belly fat. Instead, stick to a healthy diet and be sure to train all body parts at least once a week to see results.
Myth: Going for walks outside does not count as exercise
Many people are staying sane by taking lots of walks each day to get out of the house and get some fresh air. However, what most people do not know is that walking is a great form of cardio!
According to the American Heart Association, individuals should do approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. If you walk at a pace of 2.5 miles per hour or more, then this counts as your weekly aerobic activity! Walking can also improve mental health, bone health, and has many other benefits.
Myth: At-home workouts are boring
If you are used to the crowded environment of a gym or working out with a buddy, you may be reluctant to exercise at home because it seems dull. Do not let this deter you from beginning your at-home fitness journey because working out at home can be even more fun than going to the gym with friends!
There are many ways to spice up your at-home fitness routine, such as video-chatting friends, listening to a podcast, or watching your favorite movie. The best part about exercising at home is that you do not have to worry about disturbing other gym-goers. You can blast your music, dance around, and chat with your friends without anyone complaining!
Myth: You can’t get in an effective workout if you live in a small space, like an apartment
We all understand the struggle of living in a small apartment, dorm, or anywhere where there is limited space to move around. It may seem difficult to exercise at home in a small space but it is not impossible.
If you have a backyard, live near a park or school, or have a rooftop, then take your workout outside! There are many reasons why exercising outside is beneficial, such as it can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
If you prefer air conditioning, then find any space where you can fit a yoga mat and try a workout that can be done entirely on the mat. For example, yoga and pilates require minimal jumping and a few large movements, making them the perfect workout for a small space.
Myth: You can’t work out with your kids
With schools closed, it can be difficult to take time for yourself and away from your kids. The good news is that you can still exercise with your family! Children need exercise just as much as you do, and there are many workout classes that kids will enjoy, such as dance and yoga classes.
You can also invite your kids along for a walk, run, or bike ride. You can even turn working out into an exercise game!
Myth: You need a trainer to help you get an effective workout
Many fitness enthusiasts may be accustomed to working out with a trainer who tells them exactly what to do and how to do it. If this is you, then you may be hesitant to try exercising on your own. However, there are many low-impact, low-risk workouts that you can try at home!
If you decide to try out some low impact workouts, be sure to consult with a professional first, and stay safe. Harvard Medical School recommends that to prevent injury during exercise, you should always begin with a warm-up, learn the proper way to do a movement before trying it on your own, gradually increase your activity level, do not overtrain, stay hydrated, and call 911 if you experience any dizziness.