Gym Beauty Myths: Busted or Trusted?

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You know the scenario. You’re talking with your girlfriends over a glass of wine and someone says, “Well, you know, doing yoga exercises with your face gets rid of wrinkles.”

Um, yeah. This is probably not a thing. When it comes to fitness and beauty at the gym, we’ve all been duped before with misinformation. But now it’s time to decipher fact from fiction. We’re talking beauty fitness myths—busted or trusted?

Doing exercises with your face keeps skin tight. Remember when the women in one of the Real Housewives shows took a facial yoga class to stop wrinkles? That was probably all for naught. While some strategic exercise may tone the muscles, there’s really no clinical evidence that it tightens the skin. In fact, repetitive muscle contraction such as puckering your lips or squinting your eyes can actually lead to collagen breakdown and encourage more wrinkling.

All chemicals are bad for you. According to New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD, everything is a chemical, and that doesn’t mean that it is bad. For instance, cyanide is found in nature, and water is the chemical compound H2O. If you’re concerned about chemicals in the makeup you are applying or in that protein bar you just ate, realize that the bigger brands take many steps to make sure products are safe. Instead of worrying about chemical buzzwords, focus on eating more pesticide-free whole foods. It’s okay to occasionally eat a processed food; the key concept is consumption in moderation.

You can get rid of cellulite by working this area! The cellulite argument has been around for decades. Exercise programs are often marketed as cellulite-blasting. Some trainers insist exercises targeting certain areas of the body will make trouble zones disappear and the “cottage cheese” look will go away. But will your body be dimple-free by doing a particular workout? Not so, say experts. Exercise can reduce fat, but there’s no way to spot-treat cellulite. Getting rid of cellulite requires adequate exercise, diet, proper circulation and the reduction of fat.

Wearing makeup to work out will give you zits. Yes, it’s better to exercise without makeup on your face. Clean skin lets your pores breathe, plus you don’t get mascara or foundation on those pretty gym towels. But if you’ve had your eye on the cute guy that likes cardio, a little makeup is understandable. Just keep it simple. Use a bit of tinted moisturizer and waterproof mascara, and avoid heavy foundations, since they’re clogging culprits. Once you slay it on the treadmill, remove your makeup quickly and thoroughly to avoid breakouts.

You’ll have better sex if you work out. Listen, there’s no better way to work up a sweat than with a little cardio between the sheets. But just because you’ve been killin’ it at the gym lately doesn’t mean you’ve morphed into an expert lover. However, when it comes to sex, exercise is a win-win situation. If you’re working out regularly, you are producing endorphins which make you feel better mentally and if you’re in shape, you’ll increase your stamina and possible positions.

Wearing a ponytail makes you lose your hair. Unfortunately, the old ponytail story is not a myth. Common sense says wearing a ponytail for long periods of time can tug on the hair. If you’re pulling your hair back into a tight bun or ponytail daily, the tension can cause strands to break or pull out at the roots. Try wearing looser styles or use a soft band or scrunchie as often as possible.

Working out is good for your skin. Just because you work out doesn’t mean you can skip your skincare routine. But regular exercise does promote blood flow, which carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Blood flow also allows waste products, including yucky free radicals, to be flushed from the system, leaving a healthier glow.

Muscles burn more calories than fat. True dat. Your body will burn more calories at rest throughout the day if it carries more muscle than fat mass. Muscle works as a fat blaster, helping the body metabolize fat quicker and easier. It also takes more calories to support active muscle tissue than dead tissue such as fat.

The pool at the gym will turn your hair green. This one is true, but not for the reason you might think! We’ve been told that chlorine turns our hair green. The truth is, chlorine can oxidize metals in the water that bind to the protein in the hair shaft, causing it to change color. Oxidized copper is what turns the hair green.

These are just a few fitness fables and truths. As new science emerges, new ideas form. Use your better gym judgment and tackle the beauty tales. ■

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