1. FACT/FICTON: Cardio burns more calories than strength training.
Contrary to long-held belief, strength training is—as new studies have shown—superior to steady-state cardio in caloric burn. In one University of Southern Maine study, participants blasted as many calories doing 30 minutes of weight training as they did running at a six-minute-per-mile pace for the same amount of time. Unless you're Lolo Jones, strength is your best bet.
The other huge benefit of weight training? It boosts your metabolism after your workout—and builds muscle that will further increase your fat-burning potential in the long run. "If you do steady-state cardio, when you leave the gym, that's it for your calorie burn," says David Jack, general manager of Competitive Athlete Training Zone in Acton, Massachusetts. "But when you do strength work, you'll continue to burn calories for up to 36 hours."
Cardio vs. Strength training face-off. Which really burns more calories
2. You can reduce cellulite through exercise.
Cottage-cheese thighs can affect even the fittest athletes, and though exercise can't prevent cellulite, it can help reduce the appearance of those tell-tale dimples. Cellulite is fat, so calorie-blasting activities and the right nutrition can make your skin look smoother. Likewise, weight gain can make cellulite worse.
"Women lose about five pounds of muscle per decade, and they lose most of it where they don't use their muscles: where they sit. When they lose that muscle in their hips and thighs, the overlying layer of fat doesn't have much of a foundation, so it starts to get pockmarked," explains Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., author of No More Cellulite
. "Strength training can play a major role to tone that muscle and get the firm foundation back."
Westcott recommends moves that target your hips, quads, and hamstrings, but says not to ignore your other muscles. "Since all strength exercises boost your metabolic rate, they'll decrease fat too," he says.
3. Crunches are one of the best moves to target your abs.
You probably know crunches are old-school, but you may not know....