We’ve all heard them before – here, we investigate the truth behind popular health and fitness mantras and whether you really need to suffer pain to gain

Fitness mantras
Learn the meaning behind fitness mantras

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

It’s a popular saying (now a chart-topping song) and you’ve probably used the phrase to motivate yourself before. Evidence shows you’re likely to have made a good choice in doing so, with a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finding that after you endure hardship, you’re better equipped to handle difficult times in the future.

Good things come in small packages

This mantra is being used more and more in health circles to describe portion control. Our verdict? True and false. True when used to describe the benefits of downsizing your dishes, false when eating packaged food. Experts have found that eating directly from food packets – regardless of size – causes us to eat more than when they’re plated up. To keep your portions in check, use a smaller plate.

No pain no gain

It’s a philosophy many PTs advocate, and if they mean that sacrifices must be made to achieve your fitness goals, then there’s no doubt they’re reminding you of plain logic! If they’re advocating that muscle pain results in body gain, though (the kind where you can’t get out of bed post-workout), then you might have to question their intentions. According to experts, muscle aches don’t prove the effectiveness of your workout. Soreness is most often the result of micro-tears in muscle tissue after a tough or new exercise session, and you shouldn’t be in pain after each trip to the gym; otherwise you’re risking injury.

Prevention is better than cure

This adage couldn’t be truer when it comes to an array of health conditions. Type 2 diabetes, for example, is one condition where this saying is important as this type of diabetes can be easily prevented with exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. Also, pre-diabetes, when detected, can be reversed through positive and preventative lifestyle changes, helping us to ward off the risk of it developing into a serious condition. It’s also true when it comes to our brain, skin, eye, ear, oral and heart health!

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