By QuickieChick Laurel House
QuickieChick running on a treadmillBefore you jump into your summer fitness routine, read these myths… busted to get the best fat-burning, muscle-toning, healthy-making results that will most effectively and efficiently whip your butt into bikini shape.
1. MYTH: Want 6-Pack Abs? The more crunches the better
BUSTED: You can crunch until the cows come home and still have a muffin top folding over your jeans. If you want a flat stomach you've got to do more than just 3-digits worth of daily sit-ups. Why? Doing 100s of daily sit-ups is actually extinguishing the oxygen from your muscles, suffocating them as opposed to strengthening them. Instead do 3 sets of 15 10-second crunches, moving like molasses, or simply hold Plank pose for 1 minute every day. BUT even that won't guarantee a 6-pack. You have to burn off the fat that sits on top FIRST. How? Cardio and diet. This doesn't mean that crunches are pointless. The more muscle you have, the more calories you naturally burn, even during rest. Try this Daily100 Ab-Blasting Quickie Workout "Knee to Nose."
2. MYTH: You should ALWAYS stretch before you workout
Stretch for your health!You never want to stretch a cold muscle- ever! Imagine a stick of taffy. If you try to bend it in half without first gently warming it up, it will snap. That could be your muscle. More than risking ripage, stretching before working out also makes your muscles produce less force. In other words, you get less out of your workout because of your pre-exercise stretch. Try this Fat-Burning Quickie Workout in Bed to warmup before you workout.
3. MYTH: It's best to workout on an empty stomach
BUSTED: You've got to eat something first thing in the morning to break your fast (hence "breakfast") and kick start your metabolism. When you exercise, your body burns through stored energy to sustain your movement, converting sugars (carbs) into usable energy necessary to contract a muscle and make a movement. You need fuel to rev up your engine (that would be your body). Eat a banana, drink a protein shake, or just down an OJ. The one thing to avoid, however, is fiber. Sure it fills you up, but then it sits there like a weight in your stomach during your workout. Here's what to eat before, during and after you workout.
READ: Weird Foods that Runners Rave About & Ease Post-Exercise Pain with THESE Foods
4. MYTH: Holding hand weights while walking or running burns much more calories
5-lb weights for strength trainingRhythmically pumping your arms forward and back while you walk or run helps create momentum, which makes you move forward even faster while simultaneously getting your abs and arms in the toning action (upping the calorie burn). Holding weights actually slows that momentum, decreasing your speed and therefore your cardio output and calorie burn. You are also putting yourself at risk for injury thanks to the repetitive weighted movement and force on your elbows.
burn about an extra 45 calories over the next two hours.
5. MYTH: A short workout is a waste of time
QuickieChick's Upper Body CardioIt's been proven that even short 15-minute exercise bursts are effective when it comes to weight loss. In fact, 3 daily 15-minute cardio sessions has been shown to be even more effective when it comes to burning calories than one long daily workout. The key is to keep the intensity up during those quick bursts. Do this Upper Body Cardio Quickie Workout in Bed first thing in the am, take a brisk walk at lunch, then an Daily100 after dinner and you'll be a fat burning machine!
6. MYTH: When I work out, I burn enough calories to eat whatever I want
BUSTED: Yes, exercise burns calories. But if you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. If you walk for 30 minutes and burn 200 calories, you have not earned a 500 calorie candy bar or fast food French fries. The math just doesn't add up. You will eventually gain weight. If you crave the candy or fry, have a few bites. But remember, balance and moderation are key when it comes to being healthy.
QuickieChick's Cheat SheetLaurel House is a lifestyle author, expert, writer, personal trainer and the "QuickieChick." Her "quickies" are all about making the most out of every moment- whether it's a saddlebag-burning "Quickie Workout in Bed," a de-puffing "Bites with Benefits" meal, or how to get a $150 spa-quality skin peel out of a $1 tomato and lemon at-home Refrigerator Facial. Her YouTube videos have received over 7 million views and now you can get even more Quickie Tips in her new book "QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less than Fabulous Budget"(St. Martin's, May 2012).
By QuickieChick Laurel House