Don't believe these 4 myths about exercise, says 2021's ‘Fitness Influencer of the Year’
If you're looking to start your fitness journey, there's no time better than the present.
April 18 is National Exercise Day, which was established in 2020 to encourage people to engage in physical activity — it's the perfect day to get a quick workout in.
To help you get rid of the "gym jitters," we asked Lucy Wyndham-Read, the "Fitness Influencer of the Year" for 2021, about the myths about exercise that circulate and often deter people from working out.
Wyndham-Read's home fitness channel on YouTube has more than 2.5 million subscribers.
Myth #1: "Everyone's judging me in the gym"
Most times when you feel like people are judging you while you're exercising in the gym, it's all in your head, says Wyndham-Read.
"The reality is, actually, most people are in the gym, or work out, to focus on their wellbeing," she adds.
"Even though we might feel a little self-conscious doing a particular move, the chances are that no one's actually really interested."
This myth can become an excuse that gets in the way of you going to the gym, Wyndham-Read adds. If this is a fear that you experience, she recommends focusing on your health and keeping that in mind during your workout.
She also wants you to remember: "If they're busy watching you and judging you, then it just shows how fabulous you are."
Myth #2: "I won't see results if I exercise at home"
While you may think working out at home isn't going to give you the results you want, Wyndham-Read says "it's the complete opposite."
"Home fitness has proved to be one of the most effective ways to really get people amazing results," she notes.
It's convenient, and allows you to exercise from anywhere without worrying about how you'll get there or what to wear. Getting to the gym can also be difficult, depending on your circumstances, so home workouts make it easier for people with busy schedules to remain consistent, she adds.
"Our bodies are like gyms in themselves. We can do so much without having to use equipment," Wyndham-Read says.
"So, when people think 'I haven't got time' or 'I can't afford to go to the gym,' we don't need to. We can do so much on our own without any cost."
Myth #3: "My workouts need to be long to be effective"
As a fitness influencer, Wyndham-Read finds that many people think they need to exercise for an hour for it to be a good workout; that's far from true, she says.
"There's so much research now that short workouts can be way more effective," because you can up the intensity and work a bit harder, says Wyndham-Read.
"You're also more likely to do a 10-minute workout," than a 60-minute one. Micro workouts can be spread out throughout your day, she says.
Try starting your day off with 10 minutes in the morning, and then another quick fit session after work.
Myth #4: "If I don't have 'perfect abs,' I'm not doing it right"
This myth couldn't be farther from the truth, Wyndham-Read says. Social media feeds unrealistic expectations about fitness and causes us to believe that we aren't achieving our workout goals as quickly as we should be, she says.
It's up to you to hone in on, and understand, your "why." Ask yourself why you want to exercise in the first place and focus entirely on what you want for yourself, says Wyndham-Read.
"It's not about anyone else. The only journey we should focus on is our [own]. We shouldn't compare ourselves to anyone else," she adds.
Keep in mind that as it relates to abs and other body attributes that are praised: "It's not about those results. The better results are what your blood pressure is [and] your resting heart rate. Knowing about that is so important."
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