It takes more than sit ups to achieve a flat, lean stomach. If you want to see your abs then you have to shred the fat that lies on top of them: exercise such as high-intensity interval training and a clean calorie-controlled diet. On their own, sit ups are not enough because you will only tone the muscle rather than burn the fat that is covering your abs. Exercise and healthy eating are essential. In fact, there is a saying that goes ‘abs are made in the kitchen’, so I suggest you start there.
2. No pain, no gain
If you want to see changes in your body then it’s important that you challenge yourself, both mentally and physically. But there is a fine line between working out to the point of fatigue (good!) and to the point of over-exhaustion (bad!). Pain can be constructive and beneficial only up to a certain point. Be mindful of your body and learn to witness the difference between feeling challenged and feeling pain... which will lead to injury. In yoga this most specifically applies to challenging yourself by soldiering through musculature discomfort as you work to hold a posture - but never ignore any discomfort in your knees, as there's no way discomfort in the knee joint is a good thing! With any workout, usually some soreness or DOMS the next day is expected (if you want to see results, that is). So do challenge your body, but always be mindful. Pain is the body’s way of communicating with you: learn to stop or reduce the intensity of your training if there’s something wrong.
3. Lifting weights will make you look big and bulky
It’s food that makes you fat, not lifting weights! Weight lifting will help you to achieve a more lean look, especially if you pair it with a sensible and clean diet to help reduce the body fat on top of those muscles you're building. Girls, our bodies do not naturally make enough testosterone to create the amount of muscle that men do. So unless you consume too many calories for your body’s needs, you have nothing to worry about. Just go easy on any foodie treats you might give yourself after your workout.
4. Yoga is only for relaxation, it’s not challenging enough for a workout
Whilst it’s true that there are yoga styles promoting relaxation, there are so many yoga styles out there that I'm ready and willing to put my bottom dollar on the fact that there's a style to suit every body out there: some less strenuous than others, and a few would make your body sweat more than you believed possible. Bikram is well-known as a calorie burner there are other styles such as Power Yoga and Ashtanga that will give you just as good – if not better – benefits, such as better flexibility, reduced risk of osteoporosis, and a uber-positive outlook on life (just try it please ;) ) . Just make sure you practice safely and that you find the right teacher who is qualified for the type of practice you want to follow.
5. Your muscles will turn into fat if you quit exercising
Muscle and fat are two entirely different tissues and it isn’t possible to convert one into the other. They will get bigger or smaller depending on various factors, such as the amount you exercise, the intensity of your exercise, the quality and quantity of what you eat, to name but a few. Fat is created by an excess of calories, not a lack of using your muscles.
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