Running is the best way to get fit.
Forget it. There is no one best way to get fit. You have to do
what you like or you'll find a reason to quit. And as for doing
it fast, that's another myth that's been built into the mass
marketing of fitness. Getting fit -- physically and mentally --
is a process that takes time and patience, with built-in rewards
all along the way. If you're looking for instant success -- Lose
10 pounds in 10 days! -- you're only looking for trouble.
If you don't exercise an hour a day, five days a week,
you might as well do nothing.
Don't believe this all-or-nothing approach. The truth is, there
are enormous benefits to doing just a little exercise daily.
Studies show that a half-hour walk three or more times a week
significantly reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke,
lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and boosts your energy and
Warming up before working out isn't necessary if
Wrong! Gently stretching out and warming up your muscles before
(and after) you exercise is the number one defense against a
variety of painful sports injuries, including tendinitis.
You can lose weight by dieting.
Not really. More than 90 percent of all people who lose weight by
dieting gain it back. Dieting is different from changing your
eating habits, opting to eat more fruits and vegetables and much
less fat. Dieting is temporary deprivation. Eating healthy means
developing a new mind set. The real trick to losing weight is a
lifelong pattern of moderate exercise.
No pain, no gain.
This myth hangs on and it's really destructive. Pain is your body
signaling that something is wrong. If you feel real pain during a
workout, you shouldn't push past it; you should slow down and
even stop your workout. To increase muscle and develop endurance
you may need to experience a slight level of discomfort, but
that's not pain. "No pain, no gain" is no good when it
comes to developing a lifelong fitness plan. Always see a doctor when experiencing an unusual amount of discomfort. It could signal a serious injury.
Heat makes injuries feel better, heal faster.
Not true. Sports injuries -- a sore knee, a twisted ankle, an
aching elbow -- hurt because of internal bleeding and swelling,
very often caused by overuse. You want to use ice, not heat, to
reduce pain and swelling. Always have a doctor check the injury so you can be sure you're on the right track towards healing.
Taping an injury prevents further damage.
Don't believe it. Tape can support weak ankles but you can't
depend on it. It's more cosmetic than therapeutic. And it's
virtually useless for injured knees. If you think you need tape
to play, you probably shouldn't be playing. Again, always have a doctor check out any injury.
A thick steak is a great pregame meal because meat
Fat chance. Most people should know by now that meat is a poor
source for quick energy. That's true of all protein. The ideal
pregame meal is one packed with carbohydrates (pasta, whole
grains, potatoes, bread). Carbohydrates are the best and most
easily utilized form of energy. Also, your pregame meal isn't all
that important. The truth is, the energy for your workout today
is based on foods you ate yesterday.
The best time to exercise is early in the morning.
Not true. There is no one best time to exercise. The best time is
the time that appeals to you and fits into your schedule. Some
folks love to jump-start their day with a morning workout, while
others swear that exercising after the workday is over is a great
way to energize for the evening and eliminate stress.
If you drink water when you exercise, you'll get
This is the opposite of what's really true. You need water when
you work out -- before, during and after. The more water, the
better! If you don't drink enough -- and most of us don't -- your
head can ache, or you can feel crampy and tired and not know why.
Not enough water is why. Drink, drink, drink!
Exercising the same body part every day is the fastest
way to build strength.
Exercising the same body part every day is the fastest way to
cause injuries. To build strength, you want to work your muscles
hard -- ideally, with weights, to the point of exhaustion -- but
then you need to give those muscles a day of rest and recovery.
Overdoing it in the weight room can cause serious strains and
pains. If you don't know what you're doing, get help.
Women who lift weights will develop big, bulky
Wrong again. Those big, bulky muscles we tend to associate with
bodybuilders most often are the result of male hormones, and
women don't have enough of it to make their muscles
massive...unless, of course, they are into serious lifting. With
near-starvation (to lower body fat) and steroids, women can bulk
up beyond normal ranges, but for most women, strength training is
a wonderful way to tone up, firm up and shape up muscles in a