You plan to stay healthy and fit for life – and that requires fact, not fiction. It’s hard to keep up with all the advice, tips and jewels of common knowledge available at any time. Here are a few myths you can dispose of quickly as you expand your understanding of wellness:
MYTH » Stress is optional.
TRUTH » A little stress is a normal part of life. Even on the best days, we all carry some stress in body or mind. A lot of it on a regular basis, however, is not normal or necessary. The secret to stress management is not aiming to be 100% stress-free, but knowing the difference between the stresses you create versus the unavoidable kind – and being sure you carry the right stresses for the right reasons.
MYTH » Lite beer is low-cal.
TRUTH » While an ice-cold beer may hit the spot, it also packs seven calories per ounce of alcohol. Twelve ounces of regular beer has 150 calories; even a lite beer contains 105. And remember, alcohol is a simple carbohydrate metabolized as a simple sugar with no nutritional value. So imbibe in moderation and in combination with a high-protein meal and plenty of water.
MYTH » Exercising anaerobically – in short, intense bursts – burns muscle and is not effective for fat loss.
TRUTH » Muscle is used as a fuel for exercise only during extreme, long-duration events such as 100-mile ultramarathons. When you work out anaerobically – in short bursts of high intensity such as weight-lifting – your body burns muscle glycogen which is the carbohydrate stored in our muscles for fuel, but it will not burn muscle tissue itself.
MYTH » Losing an hour of sleep is no big deal.
TRUTH » If you get less sleep than you need, your ability to do certain cognitive and physical tasks is decreased. If sleep loss builds over time, it can interfere with the hormones that monitor appetite, change your mood and increase your risk for some chronic illnesses. Seven to nine hours of sleep every night is best for staying healthy and feeling your best.
MYTH » Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat.
TRUTH » Exercising on an empty stomach is fine but it will not burn any more calories or fat than exercising after eating. In fact, if you exercise on an empty stomach and run low on blood sugar as a result, you might end up cutting your workout short or not working very hard – both of which result in reduced calorie- and fat-burning.
When you need an energy lift to keep you going on a hike or in the office, choose this nutritious balanced treat. Delicious and just what you need!
1½ cups rolled oats
Makes 12 (½-cup) servings, each