When you look up “wellness” on Google, you get about 777 million results in less than one second. That’s a lot of information, and probably even more misinformation.
While I can’t dispel all the myths out there, here are three common myths we can bust in the next few minutes:
Myth: I can build lean muscle.
There is no such thing as lean muscle. Muscle is muscle*. The muscles in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biceps are the same as mine— they’re just (a lot) bigger.
The concept of lean muscle really began as a marketing ploy to target women who feared appearing too “masculine.” So, when people refer to “lean muscle,” they’re typically talking about the absence of body fat.
If this is a look you’re interested in achieving—you’ll still need to build muscle. Whether you’re new to strength training or a seasoned veteran, consider adding resistance bands into your routine. They’re effective and diverse pieces of equipment that can be far less intimidating than squat racks or barbells.
*There are, indeed, three types of muscle, but lean is not one of them.
Myth: I need to walk 10,000 steps a day.
Like “lean muscle,” the arbitrary 10,000 likely comes from a marketing campaign in which a pedometer company in the 1960s encouraged consumers to reach 10,000 steps in a day. This 10,000-step goal now serves as a standard for modern fitness trackers like Fitbit.
Yet a recent study found that, at least in women, the benefits of more steps levels off around 7,500.
So, by all means—aim for 10,000. But it’s certainly not 10,000 or bust – just keep up with a balanced diet and active lifestyle and you should be walking your way toward being the picture of health in no time.
Myth: I should stretch before my workout.
When we think of “stretching,” we typically think of “static stretching”—where you hold a posture for 15 or more seconds. However, prior to a workout, static stretching doesn’t prevent injury, and in fact, can weaken your performance.
On the other hand— dynamic stretching, a movement-based form of stretching that heats up and activates your muscles, can be a beneficial addition to your warm-up routine. So, drop the toe touches and opt-in for some walking lunges before your next exercise sesh.
The wellness world is great—but can be overwhelming. Hang in there, keep doing your research, and don’t stretch before your next workout!
This article was written by Melissa Pelowski.