Five Weird Fitness Facts
It's no secret that exercise is good for you. But did you know that it can make you smarter? Although the basics of health and fitness may be obvious, there's a lot that most of us don't know.
Want to learn more? Boost your fitness knowledge with these five weird fitness facts that will blow your mind:
- The word gymnasium is derived from the Greek term for naked.
A large portion of exercise is done in a gymnasium or gym. But did you know that this common word is derived from gymnos, the Greek term for naked? In ancient Greece, athletes would compete without clothes as a tribute to the gods. Thankfully today, this isn't common practice. So next time you head to the gym, be grateful for the sea of basketball shorts and yoga pants that surround you.
- Exercise can relieve body aches such as headaches and period cramps.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that interact with your brain in several positive ways. Endorphins are known for acting as a natural painkiller by reducing your perception of pain, as well as reducing stress and increasing happiness. Looking for a pain-relieving workout? Try aerobic exercise to get your heart rate up. This can be anything from walking or running to swimming or cycling.
- Working out every day can be bad for your health.
It may sound backwards, but taking time off from your workout schedule can actually lead to better results. By allowing your muscles time to rest between workouts, your body can restore its energy levels and repair minor tears in your muscles. You'll also be less likely to get injured from overtraining. Overtraining can cause a variety of negative side effects — including insomnia, a plateau in weight loss, irritability and burnout.
- The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body.
The human body comprises approximately 650-840 muscles. With so many muscles in your body, have you ever wondered why your gluteus maximus or butt is so important? Your glutes help move your legs and thighs, as well as keep your body erect. Next time you work out, try to strengthen your glutes with this seven-minute butt-blasting workout.
- It's impossible to target your weight loss to a specific problem area.
Sadly, doing hundreds of crunches won't give you rock hard abs. Similarly, only doing dumbbell curls won't help you lose arm fat. Targeting your weight loss to a specific section of your body, also known as spot reduction, is a myth that has plagued the fitness industry for years. But studies have shown that it's simply not true. If you're looking to slim down, try focusing on total-body workouts or create a workout routine that targets different muscle regions on different days. By focusing on your total-body weight loss, you'll be able to slowly lose fat across your body — including your problem areas.