Everyone has health advice, and health rules are everywhere. Whether its your best friend telling you not to eat after 5 p.m. or your Mum making sure you eat enough carbohydrates, there are so many rules, my head spins! How do you know what’s right and what’s just rumour, though? I’ve been quizzing the experts, and here are my top 7 health rules you should break.
1. Vigorous Workouts do More than Moderate Ones
If you already do a moderate work out regularly, then a vigorous work out might help you shift the pounds or tone up if you feel you need to. If your body isn’t used to strenuous exercise, a vigorous work out won’t do any good at all, though. You’ll exhaust yourself, and be too tired to carry on, or to keep at it. Instead, plan some moderate activities, and stay in control of your exercise. You’ll feel much better for it, and get faster results!
2. Any Type of Exercise is Worth It
If you are sedentary, then this is true, but otherwise you can get much better exercise than pulling up weeds. Think of it this way...gardening is more energetic then watching TV, but not by much. If you want to see results and feel fitter, plan a walk around the block, or an exercise video. You can always pause it and have a break, but you’ll be burning many more calories than you would in your garden!
3. Swimming is the Best Workout
Have you ever noticed that as the Summer gets closer, the pool fills with people trying to lose weight and tone up? While swimming is great exercise, recent studies have shown that most swimmers don’t burn enough calories to lose any weight, and if you have asthma, it can even trigger an attack. If you are looking for an aerobic workout, try combining swimming with an aerobics class or video.
4. 8 Glasses of Water
Everyone knows you are supposed to have 8 glasses of water a day, right? Not necessarily. While 8 glasses might be enough for some people, others will need more, or less. Ask your doctor how much you should be drinking, or do a trial day. When you are peeing every 8 hours and your urine is light coloured, you’ve drank enough.
5. Don’t Take Vitamins
I’m always being told that I need to get my vitamins from proper food, and not from a tablet. This isn’t necessarily true, though. Certain groups of people, such as vegetarians, will struggle to get enough of vitamins from food alone, and a vitamin will prevent them becoming deficient of it. If you can, try to eat at least one source of each vitamin, but don’t be afraid to get the rest from your tablet.
6. Muffins for Breakfast
A recent study on the healthiest breakfast cereal saw a landslide victory for the bran muffin... which actually isn’t that healthy at all. The average plain bran muffin contains 420 calories, and 20 grams of fat, which is actually almost the same as a chocolate chip muffin. For 300 calories, you could start the day with ham, egg and cheese on an English muffin and save yourself 8 grams of fat.
7. Fruit Smoothies
I’ve just been for a run, and counted how many runners I saw. 20, which is okay considering I live in a big city. 18 of them had smoothies with them... the healthy choice, right? Wrong! The average fruit smoothie contains 600 calories and 120 grams of sugar, and that’s increased if it’s bought from a smoothie shop which has added preservatives. It’s hardly diet food... make your own fruit smoothie with plain yoghurt and fresh fruit juice, and you’ll save 250 calories.
I can’t believe some of these facts... I’ve taken bran muffins off the shopping list, and I’ve loved making my own smoothies with my favourite fruits. I just can’t believe how much of what people swear by is wrong... do you know of an incorrect health rule, or a fad which makes no sense? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: MethodFitness