From baby food diets that hype speedy weight loss results to “shape up” shoes that promise to "tone and tighten" your legs, there’s a lot of untrue and unreliable information about health and fitness to sift through before you can finally uncover the facts.
Given the amount of advice about exercise and diet that’s available, much of which is inconsistent, it might feel like getting fit and healthy is complicated and confusing; setting out to find the most effective workout and nutritional strategies could be compared with trying to find a needle in a haystack.
With so many options to choose from, how can you tell which will really work and which are most likely just smoke and mirrors?
Well, the good news is that it actually doesn’t have to be so complicated. Yes, there are tons of different diet plans and workout regimens that make totally enticing claims, some of which will work, but most of which are bogus. But at the end of the day, the truth is that if you take the time to learn a little bit about what’s true and what’s not, it won’t matter what type of plan you follow so long as it’s one that makes you happy and that you can sustain for a prolonged period of time.
So, to help you get your fitness facts straight, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the biggest diet and exercise myths that are continually passed around, despite being completely untrue.
By now maybe you’ve learned that stretching before exercise isn’t best and that drinking eight glasses of water a day isn’t necessarily the universal ideal; common concepts like these have been widely debunked in recent times.
Instead, the following fitness fabrications are tidbits that are probably still being passed around during small talk at the water cooler or by a well-meaning friend who feels they’re a fitness “expert.”
Continue reading to find out the real facts and then spread the truth by setting the record straight next time you hear someone spout out a “tip” that’s just not true.
Myth: Carbs will make you gain weight.
“Your body needs a certain amount of carbs, fat and protein to function,” says Lauren Brown a trainer and sports nutritionist for Balanced Fitness and Health. “Too little of one and too much of another will throw the body’s equilibrium off, resulting in malnourishment, weight gain, muscle loss, etc. Carbohydrates are the body’s number one go-to for fuel. Without it you will eventually lack energy, experience brain fog, and feel depressed and moody. Just be sure to choose healthy carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains and avoid processed carbs that contain simple sugars and other toxic ingredients.”
Myth: Running is bad for your knees.
"Running has long been thought to cause damage to the knees from all the pounding you experience with each foot strike,” says Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner and the founder of Strength Running. “But in the past decade, multiple studies have shown that long-time runners have no increased risk of knee damage. And those with a history of knee arthritis don't have much of a history with running! In fact, running can even be healthy for the knee, promoting cartilage repair in the knee. Of course, we're talking about moderate running here—if you're running marathons or workouts at 6:00 mile pace or faster, you could be increasing your risk of knee arthritis.”