As it is with any hyped up thing, there are a TON of myths that get circulated about fitness and working out. Their impact ranges from harmless to dangerous. Although there’s a lot of myths, they’re easily sorted out when it comes to the health and fitness world.

HERE ARE THE TOP 10 MOST COMMON FITNESS MYTHS

1. GIRLS WHO LIFT WEIGHTS WILL GET HUGE MUSCLES

I want to smack any girl who says that she wants to just get ‘toned’. Where do you think you get toned? The magic toning tree? Girls simply don’t have the testosterone that guys do, and thus, lifting weights gives great muscle definition, but you’re NOT going to get huge muscles if you aren’t taking steroids of some sort.

PC: Fit Wanderlust Runner

2. YOU SHOULD WORK OUT AT A LOW INTENSITY FOR A LONG TIME

Although everyone should throw a couple of longer endurance sessions in to mix things up, it isn’t the most effective thing when you’re looking to see results. One of the biggest crazes in fitness, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is actually one of the best options out there. With HIIT, you’re working out at a high intensity for a much shorter period of time with GREAT calorie burn afterwards. Again, don’t limit yourself to just one option, but know that HIIT is great at bringing results.

3. RUNNING IS BAD FOR YOUR KNEES

Running has the potential to damage your knees if you have a genetic predisposition for it (which I do…and it sucks). For anyone else though, running is not horrible on your knees like people have been preaching for years. In fact, there are some ways that the repetition and pounding can strengthen your knees.

PC: Shut Up and Run

4. YOU SHOULD ONLY LIFT LOW WEIGHT, HIGH REPS

Although it has its place, if you’re only lifting low weights for a lot of reps all the time, you’re simply not going to get the muscle strength you’re looking for.

5. YOU SHOULD ONLY LIFT HIGH WEIGHT, LOW REPS

Again, if you’re only lifting high weights for low reps all the time, you’re not going to build the type of strength endurance you’re looking for.

6. YOU CAN REDUCE FAT IN ONE AREA

Hate to tell you folks, but doing countless numbers of crunches is not going to simply get rid of your stomach fat. Fat doesn’t spot reduce; you have to start losing from your entire body. Sure, targeting certain areas is going to help the muscles grow and gain definition, but fat leaves your body overall, not just from one spot at a time.

PC: Cardio Trek

7. STRETCHING HELPS YOU RECOVER QUICKLY AND AVOID INJURY

Stretching feels GREAT…but, it’s not the magic way to keep yourself from becoming injured or to help yourself recover quickly. A better option would be to make sure that you get a good warmup and cool down instead. Your muscles need proper warming and cooling time-not just to be stretched.

8. THERE’S A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF TIME YOU NEED TO WORKOUT

No two workouts are alike. There’s no one time frame you need to hit each time you workout. Tailor each workout for maximum benefits, and you’ll be good to go.

9. REST DAYS WILL STOP PROGRESS

NOT taking rest days will halt your progress. Your body needs time to rest, heal, and for muscles to grow. It’s suggested that you take at least one or two days a week off. You can be active on those days, just don’t do a full workout.

10. YOU SHOULD JUST PUSH THROUGH ILLNESS OR INJURY

STOP. DON’T. Personally, I know that with certain types of sickness (like a cold), I’ll feel better if I get a light workout in. However, gauge your body. It’s important to rest and heal from illness and injury, not keep working out and make it worse.  

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