As we approach beach season, some of us are reassessing our exercise and eating regimes. Here are some helpful health myths busted that will aid in achieving your fitness goals, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
FALSE – Targeted fat loss, or spot reduction as it’s more commonly known, does not work – despite the infomercials saying otherwise. Several studies have concluded that targeting specific areas to lose fat, such as crunches to rid belly fat, or lunges to tone thighs, have no control over where in your body the fat is burned off. For example, a study in 1971 on tennis players found that there was no difference in subcutaneous fat between their dominant and non-dominant arms. Spot reduction doesn’t work because the fat held in fat cells is in a triglyceride form. Muscle cells cannot use triglycerides as fuel, so they must be broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids, which then enter the bloodstream. Because of this, fat loss can come from anywhere in the body. Experts agree, it’s best to combine cardio exercise, weight training, and health eating habits for best results. So, this means you can do crunches until you’re blue in the face, but unless you combine that with healthy eating and cardio, you’ll have abs of steel, under that same layer of belly fat.