LIKE THIS POST? Get these delivered right to your inbox

Fitness research you may not have heard of

Unless you’re a fitness buff, there are some things about fitness you may now know about. The topic can be very complicated and confusing. That’s because people make many claims about health and fitness that may not be true. This could be to sell a product or to mislead people. Either way, it’s important to have a grasp on little known facts so that you can apply them to your fitness routine. If not, you’ll be left in the dark and may never achieve your fitness goals. 

Below are 4 things you probably didn’t know about fitness.

1. Exercise Can Relieve Anxiety

Exercise is not only a great way to stay fit and active, but it can also reduce anxiety and stress. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which act as natural painkillers. These endorphins are what help people cope with physical and emotional distress. Exercise also helps balance the level of other neurotransmitters that affect anxiety such as:

  • Serotonin: Serotonin plays a large role in mood regulation. Mood swings can lead to anxiety. If serotonin levels are balanced, your mood will be more stable, which can reduce anxiety.
  • Dopamine: Known as the feelgood neurotransmitter, dopamine creates feelings of pleasure, which can help keep anxiety at bay.
  • Norepinephrine: This neurotransmitter affects how the body responds to stress and anxiety. Having sufficient levels of norepinephrine in your body can reduce feelings of anxiety and relieve panic attacks.

Exercising can produce healthy levels of these neurotransmitters throughout your body, which will reduce your fight-or-flight response when faced with stress. Stress commonly leads to anxiety. By exercising more, you can keep these negative feelings at bay.

2. Stretching Before Running May Be Counterproductive

You may have been taught to warm up before exercise. However, stretching before runningmay not be helpful to your workout after all. In fact, stretching can make your body less efficient, which can negatively affect your performance. If you want to warm up before you go for a run, try walking instead. Then, after your workout, you can do stretches to keep your muscles from cramping.

3. Exercise Alone Won’t Make You Lose Weight

Many people think that if they eat a food that’s high in calories that they can go exercise and burn off those calories. However, this is ineffective because it will only maintain your weight. For the best results, you should limit your calorie intake and adjust it to your goal weight. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you’ll have to reduce your caloric intake based on your body mass, weight, height and activity level. Then, you can incorporate exercise into your routine. The combination of healthy, smarter eating and highly-effective workouts will help you stand a better chance at losing weight.

Exercise may not lead to weight loss itself, it still offers other health benefits. If you want to exercise to reduce stress, stay active or to promote your overall health and wellbeing, then go for it. Just don’t solely rely on it to help you lose weight.

4. You Can Gain Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time

Perhaps you want to build muscle and lose fat. One way you go about this may be to first lose weight and then, gain muscle later. However, you can do both at the same time. To lose fat, you must reduce your caloric intake. To build muscle, you have to consume more calories. It’s possible to do both. for this to work best, you must already be overweight. That’s because if your body has extra fat, it can stand to take in fewer calories and receive its fuel from your fat stores, while at the same time, building muscle. Hypertrophy is a major factor in this process.So what is hypertrophy? It occurs when your muscles increase in size. Lifting weights is the most common way to increase hypertrophy.

When it comes to fitness, there are still things that are unknown. However, getting as much knowledge as possible about the subject can go a long way in improving your health and wellness.