Fitness is inevitably sold as a huge part of getting healthy.
And don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe in moving your body as a means to getting healthier and feeling healthier. There’s no denying the benefits. The problem to me is the online health and fitness industry’s message is often misleading when providing information about what is means to be fit.
Not only do I see this message from the health and fitness industries but from so many people that are working towards living a healthy lifestyle themselves. Now I’m not trying to bash anyone that is working towards their health and fitness. I just want to shed some light on the messaging that is out there and can often be misguided or misunderstood from those who are still learning, and unsure of where to start.
Some of the popular things that I’ve seen online, and I’ve even made these types of comments myself, before really diving deep into my health and fitness journey, and evolving my mindset surrounding health and fitness.
- “I ate healthy all week, it’s my cheat meal day. I deserve it!”
- “Worked out everyday this week, no pain, no gain!”
- “I just need to tone up this part of my body, then I’ll be happy.”
So here are 5 myths I have witnessed (and may at some point believed) or read about online, surrounding health and fitness!
01 | Being fit = being healthy.
You must be fit to be healthy. I find this message so detering for people who literally hate working out. If you’ve read some of my other post, you’ll understand that I strongly believe in moving your body as a means to support your health, in multiple ways. But for those of you who don’t like going to the gym, I see you, and feel you my friend. Have no fear though, because being fit is not the be all end all to health.
Health is not all about your fitness level. Unfortunately, in the past it has been portrayed in this way, that if you go to the gym and get fit, you are healthy. The good thing is, times are starting to change. There are more people starting to promote health in a well rounded way as opposed to just “getting shredded” or #fitness.
Ultimately, I’m not saying that getting fit is a problem, I’m simply saying that being healthy is not as simple as just getting fit. It’s an all around mindset that includes moving your body in a way that makes you feel good, eating a well balanced diet, having positive relationships, developing a positive mindset surrounding different parts of your life (such as body image). There are so many different pieces involved in healthy as a whole, that being fit doesn’t always equal healthy.
02 | If you’re not working out 5+ times a week, you are not fit.
You have to workout 5+ times a week in order to be fit AF! … NOT. This is something I’ve seen online soooo many times, and it’s really hard to hold my tongue. Honestly, I personally have a crazy busy schedule. So depending on my schedule, sometimes I get 3 workouts in per week, sometimes I get 6, sometimes I get none! Fitness is a mindset, not a number. So if you are doing what you can to get that body moving, as often as you can, you are golden my friend.
Not only that, but fitness can be defined in so many ways, so just because other people can manage 5+ workouts a week and you can’t, that doesn’t mean that you are not fit for you. It’s individual, so don’t forget that!
03 | You have to be dripping sweat for your workout to be worth it.
This is something I struggle with still. Going to the gym and getting real sweaty is one of my favourite things. But guess what? You do not have to be dripping sweat for it to be a good workout. There are some days that I shake things up a bit, move a little slower, adjust my movements slightly. I don’t sweat as much, but I’m super sore the next day. There are also days when I just simply don’t have the energy to give it 1000% and sweat my ass off, but a little movement does my body and mind wonders.
You have to remember that sweating and working out, or moving your body, are not only to burn those calories, but they are also to strengthen muscles, strengthen your mind, give you some self care my friend. Workouts can be in many forms, and just because you’re not dripping, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
04 | You need the latest protein shake, tea detox, or fat burning pill to support your weight loss journey.
Ever see those perfect people, with their perfect bodies, sharing about the teas, shakes, or pills that helped get them that way? Well I’ll be honest, I’ve fallen prey to it too. I’ve bought the teas, the shakes, and even kits that have “booty builder” pills in them! (Literally embarrassing.) But, if you don’t educate yourself, it’s really easy to feel like these are the solution to what you’re looking for. Not only that, they’ve got really attractive people promoting these products. The problem is, they often aren’t sharing the strict meal plans, workout routines, that they follow. As well as most of these people have been working towards their goals for YEARS. Yes, years! And honestly, that’s often what it takes, not pills, teas, or shakes, but years of hard work and learning about living a healthier lifestyle.
Not only this, but I will say it again, fitness is not all about weight loss. There’s nothing wrong with having weight loss goals. But if that is your main focus, there’s always a chance you will be disappointed. When you don’t see the results you’re looking for, it’s easy to feel bad about yourself. If you take the approach of fitness is a way of making my body and mind feel better, give me more energy, AND/OR lose some weight, or tone certain areas, you’re more likely to feel successful in the long run.
Also one more thing, you are enough, your weight, shape, or body does not define you.
05 | You have to look toned to be fit.
Another myth I used to believe, I need to be toned in order to be fit. This has definitely changed over the years after learning more about health and fitness. Not only that, but I see all the badass women that workout at my gym every week, who aren’t necessarily “toned”. But they seriously kick ass in a workout class. Also, if you dig a little deeper online, you’ll start to notice that there are plenty of fit women (and men) out there who don’t have “toned” bodies. Not only do they not have toned bodies, but they also don’t care that they don’t have toned bodies.
Because ultimately, fitness is not all about how you look, and who have the best six pack, or biggest booty. It’s a mindset, its a community, it can be a form of therapy, it can be so many things. But looking toned is definitely not the only way that you can show your fitness level. (And to be honest, probably the least appealing way to show your fitness level those who are truly into fitness for the right reasons).
Ultimately, my message behind this post is that fitness is a piece of the whole puzzle.
Fitness looks different for everyone, there is not one size fits all when it comes to fitness. Fitness is not just about body image, but whatever you chose to make it about. For me, fitness is about making me feel good, working towards goals, strengthening my body, keeping my body active, and boosting my energy levels. More on why you should be celebrating your body, not punishing it here.
What is fitness about for you? Comment below, I would love to hear from you!