MYTH: High–intensity interval training (HIIT) is only for fit, young people
HIIT is hard, fast and powerful, a style of training often favored by youthful exercisers and those who are super fit. But that doesn’t mean exercisers of all ages and fitness levels can’t also benefit. A large and lengthy study involving seniors doing different types of exercise found that those who did two HIIT workouts a week for five years had the most dramatic effect on quality of life and fitness levels. And HIIT can also help make older exercisers younger! A comprehensive study of both athletes and sedentary men revealed that a man in his late 60s can cut his biological age by 20 years – simply by following a series of 20–minute HIIT cycle workouts. Professional sports and fitness research scientist, Dr. Jinger Gottschall, does caution that, regardless of age, if you’re totally new to exercise then jumping head–first into HIIT is almost definitely a bad idea. She recommends first getting your body used to exercise, with 6–12 weeks of consistent moderate–intensity exercise including strength, cardio and core/flexibility training each week.
Discover the life–saving benefits of HIIT
MYTH: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Despite being touted as the ‘most important meal of the day’, many people now choose to skip breakfast as
fasting becomes more popular. While there’s little evidence to show the smartest approach, researchers have found those who eat breakfast are likely to consume more calories overall and have a greater body weight (although even these researchers say the findings should be reviewed with caution). Whether you eat
breakfast or not is a matter of personal preference. However, one of the best arguments in favor of eating
breakfast, is that it’s a good opportunity to fuel your body with nutritious food. Breakfast is a meal that
typically lets us get in some fiber, in the form of whole grains from bread and cereal, or fruit and vegetables.
Same goes for protein, maybe in the form of eggs, milk, or yogurt. If we don’t eat breakfast, we have one less
meal in which to get the nutrition we need for our day.
Fitness pros share their breakfast habits.
MYTH: Women get big and bulky lifting weights
“Women often have a misguided perception that strength training will make them look bulky. But it won’t!” says Erin Maw, Les Mills Presenter and creator of the Strength Development program. “When people have extreme gains and look remarkably muscly, it’s because they combined a number of factors; nutrition, supplements and really specific and strategic training. Strength training will make you strong, it will make you powerful, but resistance workouts alone won’t build a bulky body.” Research shows high repetition strength training generates a lactate response, a subsequent increase in growth hormone, and a long–term calorie burn effect that helps you build strength without bulk.
Should you be lifting more? See this checklist.
MYTH: A raw food diet will improve your health
Pack your diet with raw, whole, unprocessed foods and you’ll enjoy a wealth of health benefits. But relying solely on a raw diet could leave you short of essential nutrients – it can be tough to get sufficient protein, iron and omega–3s if you’re relying on raw food alone. It’s also worth noting that just because something is raw, wheat– free, dairy–free and sugar–free, this doesn’t make it a health food. Raw sweet treats can be very energy–dense, usually because they’re based on nuts, honey, dried fruit and coconut. They can also cause havoc for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.